Bernie Ecclestone: The ringmaster of Formula One

The wily Ecclestone has F1 motor racing in the palm of his hand. But what happens when he calls it a day?

by Edward Gorman

In the ground-floor waiting-room of Bernie Ecclestone's London office in Prince's Gate, overlooking Hyde Park - the nerve centre of the multi-billion pound business that is Formula One - are two objets d'art that sum up a man with a reputation as one of the world's great dealmakers.

The first is a bronze sculpture that you cannot help but touch. It depicts one million dollars, stacked in four neat piles of cash. The second is another bronze, this one of two disembodied hands locked together. Because you have seen the money, you know immediately that this is not a handshake of greeting, but rather the moment when a business deal is done.

The two pieces speak volumes about Ecclestone - a self-taught entrepreneur who has made a huge fortune doing deals and who, as he says himself, has done it all on his word. In this exclusive interview for MT, in which Ecclestone talks candidly about his business methods and his long and controversial career, the 78-year-old Formula One tsar says that he would like to be remembered as a man whose word was his bond.

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