Category Archives: Ecclestone

Rupert Murdoch called

“Bernie,” he says expansively, “you don’t seem to me the type of man that wants to stand in the way of progress.”

Oh dear. It’s going to be one of those conversations, eh? “Progress, Rupert? Me standing in the way? Of course not. Which type of progress are you talking about anyway?”

“Why, Bernie, 3D of course. Haven’t you heard of it? Don’t you want to see those splendid F1 motors literally exploding out of TV screens around the world?”

‘Exploding’ doesn’t seem to me the most fortunate choice of words here, but I decide to let that go. “Rupert,” I tell him, “let it be said that Formula One always is, always has been, and always will be at the forefront of technology.” I learned that from Winston Churchill. Always say something three different ways if you can get away with it. “But we’re serious professionals too. So we’ll take something on board when everything’s ready, and not before. We’re giving the UK everything in HD, don’t we? Did it in Singapore last year, by the way. Like I said, we’re at the forefront. We’ll do the same with 3D when it’s ready. But thanks for offering your help. Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

“Bernie, if you sell me the broadcasting rights we’ll be ready much sooner than you think. Let me do my work and you won’t be sorry. We’re the best of the best and we’ve got the audience to prove it.”

If I let you do your work, old scoundrel, you won’t rest until you’ve Continue reading

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Rupert and Carlos: you can have F1 if you take it from my cold, dead hands

Some of you may have read about persistent rumours of an impending takeover of F1 by Rupert Murdoch and Carlos Slim.

I have a message to Messrs Murdoch and Slim: you have no idea what or who you’re dealing with.

First, there’s me. I’m not sure if you’ve read any newspapers during the last few decades (well, Murdoch’s read The Sun, of course), but if you haven’t, here’s the news: the first bloke who beats me at negotiating has yet to be born. I know, I know, you’re a bunch of wily old foxes who’ve made a billion or two playing the markets, but trust me, if you haven’t been inside the world of motor racing, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. Ask anybody who’s been around F1. Anybody at all.

And then there’s the sport itself. Mind you, F1 is not a market: it’s a sport. One that happens to be owned by me. (I know I’ve said it before but here it is again, just in case you didn’t get the message.) There’s a difference, and it matters. Let me explain.

Markets are populated by pitiful little people who have few interests except making money. They have no imagination and very little intellect. So they’re easy to play. Formula One, on the other hand, Continue reading

My Birthday present

Some of the lads in Korea came up with a Birthday present they thought fitting for an eighty year old Supremo. A walking frame. Haha. Very funny.

And here’s the steering wheel for the thing. We know all about reinventing those, of course. Anybody see what’s missing? It lacks the most important switch of all: Negotiation Settings. Should have positions, for Wait it out; Hang them out to dry; Squeeze; Extort; and Close the deal.

Just a small hint for my 81st Birthday, laddies. Not sure about you, but I’ll still be there.

Putin really seems to think I’m the saviour of Russia

He sent me this picture. Apparently I’m the uncrowned King of Russian motor racing now. It’s a good thing that I’m not easily flattered, otherwise I’d be, well, flattered.

Fire in the hole!

F1 people are an unruly bunch. Especially FOTA. Believe me, I know. I used to be one of them, before I became a Supremo. So far I think I’ve done a decent job of keeping them under my thumb, but it hasn’t been easy.

With all the minor skirmishes going on in the paddock lately, you might think life in F1 on the whole’s been quite peaceful.

You could not be more mistaken. Give these rascals a finger and they take your whole hand. Take for instance advertising. Everybody knows I have Allsport has the sole rights to that. Thing is, the teams’ve always parked their big trailer trucks in the paddock, with those giant logos on them. Since no one complained, they now started bringing advertising materials to stick on the garage walls.

Believe me, those posters and stickers are like viruses. You have to contain them. I think that’s why they call marketing viral nowadays. If you don’t nip it in the bud, before long the whole paddock will be plastered over with bloody sponsor’s logos and billboards. Theirs, mind, not mine Allsport’s.

There’s only one way to deal with infractions with that. Zero tolerance. So not only do we Allsport get them to take their sponsor porn from the garage walls – we also order the trucks out of the paddock. “But we’ve always parked them there!” Don’t care. Out with them.

Williams yuppy Adam Parr hit the nail on the head: “I think Bernie sometimes wakes up on a Wednesday morning and says to himself ‘I’m going to yank a few chains’. 99 per cent of the time, we resolve these things without any blood being spilled.”

Well said, Adam. Consider me a firefighter. A proactive one. I see something smoldering, I start a fire. 99 per cent of the time, someone runs out and extinguishes it. If not, it’s time for me to use my axe. Be warned.

The report of my retirement was an exaggeration

This is ridiculous. I haven’t posted on my blog for a week or two and promptly I need to deny rumours of my death or retirement. Which in my case is synonymous, if you missed my interview with Bild am Sonntag.

It’s actually quite funny, if you have my sense of humour. The krauts’ headline was actually ‘Bernie reveals his new love’ but apparently the English media were more obsessed with reports of my death. Which were an exaggeration, as the famous English poet Mark Twain said.

“I’d die if I retired,” headlined Autocar. Their German isn’t that good apparently, because what I actually said was “To retire means to die” as Crash.net and most of the others blurbed. There’s a difference, you know.

But anyway, the most important message is out: I’m very much alive, thank you. Alive and kicking around with my newfound love Fabiana. And this may sound complicated to many of you, but no it’s not this Fabiana. I keep private and work strictly separate. Although it’s convenient that they have the same name, of course.

These are hard times…

… Even F1 billionaires have to pay bills, you know.

At least these DHL blokes know the drill. There’s only one Supremo who makes things happen in F1, and that’s me.