Bernard Ecclestone – a life in F1

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Bernard Ecclestone, yesterday

As F1 supremo Bernard Ecclestone turns 80, Sniff Petrol looks back at some of the key moments in his motorsport career.

1957 – Buys Connaught F1 team. Throws a kitten through a desk fan ‘to see what would happen’.

1965 – Becomes Jochen Rindt’s manager. Pushes ‘a substantial quantity of elephant mess’ through Jackie Stewart’s letterbox.

1972 – Buys Brabham F1 team. Sneaks up behind a swan and chops it really hard in the neck so that it falls into a storm drain.

1973 – Makes Gordon Murray chief designer. Makes Carlos Reutemann eat a bee.

1974 – Instrumental in the foundation of the Formula 1 Constructors’ Association. Drives threshing machine into paddock, throws Jackie Stewart’s briefcase into it.

1978 – Becomes FOCA chief executive. Declares war against Wales on two fronts.

1981 – Helps FOCA secure F1 TV rights. Forces Hector Rebaque to grow a moustache.

1982 – Brings FISA-FOCA war to an end. Sacks Hector Rebaque for having a moustache.

1984 – Marries Slavica Radić. Waits until Jackie Stewart is about to put his cap on and then throws a handful of wasps into it.

1987 – Sells Brabham team. Steals the Moon.

1995 – Secures Formula 1 commercial rights for next 15 years. Celebrates by running over Taki Inoue.

1997 – Makes £1m donation to the Labour Party. Spends year deliberately calling lead Arrows driver ‘Damien Hills’ just to be annoying.

1999 – Has triple heart bypass. Invites Jackie Stewart into office and then just shouts ‘BRONCO’ every time he tries to speak.

2007 – Buys Queens Park Rangers football club for £14m. Sells Jackie Stewart’s e-mail address to spam service for £1.30.

2010 – Celebrates 80th birthday. Hovers over Europe firing lasers at anything that moves.