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Ecclestone warns teams to look after their own business
Posted By: James Allen  |  18 Oct 2010   |  7:27 pm GMT  |  76 comments

There is an entertaining interview with F1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone on his own F1.com site today.

It’s a wide ranging discussion, the occasion being his 80th birthday next Thursday (28th October). It’s quite autobiographical, revealing some interesting details, such as his luck as a child not to be killed when a German warplane crashed near him, blowing him 20 metres, but leaving him unscathed.

Ecclestone: Right time, right place (Darren Heath)


The discussion keeps coming back to the subject of luck, Ecclestone insisting that he was very lucky in his life to have been presented with many great opportunities – he just had the wisdom and foresight to take them, or as he puts it, “It’s the right time and the right place and having the guts to take up the opportunity.”

He is a man who gets things done and is frustrated by people who cannot.

Most of us who work in F1 are fascinated by Ecclestone, how he has managed over such a long period of time to build the scale and reach of the sport via TV and via pushing the sport into new territories, the recent Russian and Indian deals being a case in point. People outside the sport are equally fascinated. A banker I spoke to once, while researching an article, said that if he had been born 200 years ago he would have been a Duke.

I hadn’t realised, until I spoke to Renault F1 team owner and internet entrepreneur Gerard Lopez recently, the extent to which Ecclestone is still always listening to and learning new ideas, in this case Lopez’s suggestions about getting F1 onto mobile phones in Africa.

The interviewer positions Ecclestone as the man who created F1. Increasingly Ferrari are positioning themselves as the backbone of the sport, the ones who created the history (along with McLaren and Williams) and have provided the continuity.

The discussion ends with some coded references to the negotiations over the next Concorde Agreement, due to start in 2013, which are now stepping up in seriousness. Speaking about the 12 team principals, who are sitting across the table from him, he says
“They should probably all see that they run their own businesses properly and not worry about others’. What is good for Formula One is good for everybody involved – teams and companies. Too many people only think about what is good for them. It’s the same with the rules – they only think about what can make them win.”

It is going to be very interesting to see how this negotiation goes. The teams want a larger share of the commercial revenues than the 50% they currently receive. In the past Ecclestone and Max Mosley (in his capacity as FIA president) prevailed because they were able to split Ferrari away from the rest and whoever has Ferrari has the sport. Ferrari ended up with a $100 million windfall and a right of veto over rules.

Last summer in the stand off with Mosley over the budget cap, Ferrari invoked this veto and stood firm with FOTA to the bitter end. Will they stay the course this time or jump ship as they did in the negotiations of 2005? Will FOTA stay together or crumble?

That is a question worth potentially hundreds of millions of dollars.

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  1. Rabbit Leader says:

    James,

    As you rightly point out, Ferrari betrayed the other teams and their pieces of silver was a lucrative subsidy and secret technical veto. Does a leopard ever change its spots?

    It’s also time that FIA as a sporting authority enforced neutrality by no longer sanctioning these polluting effects on competition that have favoured Ferrari.

    1. Tone says:

      He said ‘jumped ship’ not betrayed. There’s more to that story like Ron Denis couldn’t accept Ferrari getting more money than McLaren. Also if memory serves, Frank Williams didn’t have a issue with Ferrari getting more money, his problem (which I agree with) was that they would still get paid more even if they came last. Agreement couldn’t be reached, Ferrari simply got fed up and took the bag of silver on offer.

      Not defending Ferrari here but they were never going to come last and they do bring more money and people to the sport, so more money is fair.

      I can’t blame both parties but if RD and FW had have put their egos aside, Ferrari MIGHT not have jumped ship (or at least find another excuse), the teams would have more revenue nor would Ferrari have had a secret veto.

      1. Rabbit Leader says:

        There were several teams of which McLaren was but one that was unhappy with Ferrari trying to cut a more favourable deal for itself above the other teams.

        Whilst I understand that every team will try to secure the best deal to protect it’s own commercial interests, I don’t accept that FIA should have cemented Ferrari’s self entitlement in F1 because of its brand. The extra revenue to Ferrari means that it is always able to outbid the other teams for the best drivers and poach engineers. We might as well agree to allowing Ferrari to have automatic pole and perhaps a 10 second lead in every race.

      2. ian says:

        Surely if Ferrari were/are so commercially important then they would have little difficulty in raising the extra money for themselves? As for the secret veto – there is no defense.

    2. Drez says:

      Only Ferrari!!!!!

      Williams, Red Bull, Force India and further back Jordan all broke ranks and sided with Bernie and or Max when it suited them or more to the point when money was the object of their attention. (ok, perhaps Mateschitz had another agenda)

    3. Flintster says:

      Ferrari is F1 – F1 is Ferrari….

      1. Anthony says:

        Ferrari is an F1 team, as is McLaren, Williams, Mercedes, RedBull…

      2. Galapago555 says:

        No it’s not. Maybe Ferrari is an F1 team as McLaren. Probably as Williams. That’s all.

        Ferrari, definitively, is not a team as Mercedes or Redbull.

        They’ve been in the sport since the very begining. And they will be there till the very last race.

        This comes very clear when you see a race weekend – just look for any other team’s colors on the grandstands… you will find red Ferrari flags and shirts everywhere.

        So it looks that the fans don’t see Ferrari as any other team, they look at them as “the” F1 team.

      3. marco says:

        Yes – but Ferrari is THE most succesfull team ever !

        Forza Ferrari and Forza Alonso !

      4. Jo Torrent says:

        I am in a university in FRANCE and I have friends from north africa, asia and even France. Most of them know about F1 only FERRARI and the top drivers.

        I’ve got even a couple of friends to whow I talk about F1 (I should say annoy them with F1) and they didn’t know McLaren they called the team Mercedes because McLaren means nothing to them.

        I know that most of people here are british where F1 is paramount and all the teams bare Sauber and Ferrari are actually english but worldwide the only name that matters is FERRARI whether you want to admit it or not.

        Take Mercedes, Williams or McLaren out of F1 and nothing happens. Take FERRARI out and you’ll see the consequences.

        The teams are maybe english but the money comes from the worldwide exposure and the worldwide circuits. And the rest of the world wants FERRARIs and cars around.

        Bernie isn’t stupid. Why would he grant more money + the veto to FERRARI ?

        To sum it up, put it this way. A McLaren, Williams or whatever team sponsor needs FERRARI to be on the grid as much as his own team.

      5. James Allen says:

        To be precise 40% of the fans here are British – which means 60% aren’t.

      6. ian says:

        Actually the main attraction of Ferrari in F1 is seeing them get beaten.

      7. Galapago555 says:

        So you must find F1 many times terribly boring, don’t you?

      8. Anthony Marte says:

        Yeah, they’re THE most successful team ever… but do they really need that special treatment (more money, veto, etc) to be that successful?

        is it fair?
        does it help the “sport”?

      9. murray says:

        A well developed legend, but they’ve been far more successful imitating and developing the British teams’ innovations than in innovating themselves, and they haven’t developed a champion driver since Lauda.

  2. Samuel says:

    Very interesting to read. Bernie seemed reluctant to give any insights into how he garnered so much success.
    His claim that money meant next to nothing for him was utter hogwash though, He probably sleeps in a bed made of Euros.

    1. Zobra Wambleska says:

      Samuel, my guess is that money doesn’t really mean all that much to Bernie, he has so much that it’s just not that important anymore. Like he say’s doing the deal is what he likes and the money just shows that he did a good deal. Now he needs to do the deal that brings Ferrari back on par with the other teams so they can’t rig the game.

    2. Actually I can believe him. If money was important why would he be working so hard at the age of 80? He has MORE than enough money to last the rest of his life even if he was frivolous.

      It seems to me, he just loves what he does, and to quote:

      The game is the important thing, the exciting thing, money is just the way of keeping score.

      1. rfs says:

        True.

        “Brought up in comfortable surroundings in Sao Paulo, his wealth today is beyond the wildest dreams of most people. When it comes to money Ayrton is uncompromising. If you want the best, you have to pay through the nose. He doesn’t need the money, winning negotiations is just part of the F1 game.”

        http://www.grandprix.com/ft/ft00154.html

    3. Kenny says:

      Bernie is indeed interested in money…perhaps not so much for himself anymore, but certainly to service his company’s enormous debt. If that can’t be done, his whole empire collapses. I think that is his main, or perhaps only, motivation now

      1. Drez says:

        CVC owns all the debt and Bernie ‘works’ for them.

        He has his fingers in so many companies surrounding the workings of F1 and such an iron fist grip that I’m sure he is not short of pocket money income!!

    4. Mario says:

      There is a nice interview with Bernie in The Guardian where he was asked some interesting questions. You cannot dislike the man. I personally find him inspiring if anything.

    5. Charlie says:

      Apparently he has a scultpure made of a million dollars in his office. According to the Guardian article at least. Which would contradict his claims. Although he probably has it there just to p*** people off, knowing him!

  3. Harvey Yates says:

    There were many rumours as to where Bernie got his money, some of them very entertaining, so perhaps it is for the best he doesn’t tell us. I’d hate to see the rumours confounded.

    There seems little doubt that 2013 is the big one. It was what Mosley was trying to hang on for and the reason for the fight to the finish. He all but confirmed it with his suggestions that he was the best hope for F1 just before his resignation. The teams proved themselves bigger than the FIA at that time but whether they can pull off the same stunt with Bernie remains to be seen.

    A lot depends on Todt’s stand. Regardless of why he was groomed as Mosley’s Little Me, I don’t know anyone who does not consider him his own man. Perhaps you could confirm or deny, James.

    There seems to be a bit of selective memory going on and the Ferrari/Todt relationship might well be building again. The only question seems to be whose side Todt is on – teams or Berie.

    If there is a battle, and I wouldn’t bet against it regardless of odds, then it will harm F1 and considerably more than it was harmed during the various scandals and battles pre Todt. I have to say I’m worried. Williams has taken its own course, McLaren might well have other things on its mind and recessions would not appear to be a good time for manufacturers of tins of drinks. A triumphant Ferrari beating minnows is not my idea of sport.

    Bernie may or may not be motivated by money. If he’s not then that is one hell of a disguise. But I don’t see him as the father or F1. The parents have been the teams upping the professionalism year after year. Williams and McLaren transformed the sport in the 80s and Ferrari struggled to keep some distance behind. They then upped the ante with the Todt years when they totally dominated it, to its detriment.

    From a spectator’s point of view I see little evidence of across the board improvement of spectacle since, perhaps, 1985. I remember Mansell and Senna swopping fastest times through the speed trap on the start/finish straight at Brands one British GP, going into Paddock sideways with the cheers of the crowd only as reward. Now we have the teams counting laps on tyres and abandoning that extra lap in Q2 because their last one is ‘good enough’.

    I’m not saying the current way is terrible, worse or not very good. But the sport has been great all the time I’ve been watching it.

    Will Bernie’s legacy be a hotel with clever lighting being the only way to differentiate one track from another?

    He reckons that the teams should look after their own business. F1 is their business. If anyone needs to keep their nose out it is him.

    1. Drez says:

      If Bernie hadn’t provided the ‘footings’ enabling those teams to earn millions the ‘professionalism’ would never have happened. How many personal millionaries has Bernies helped create? There has been some great team owners/managers but Bernie is still the father of F1.

      As for the inevitable Ferrari domination comment. I thought it was fantastic! As I did when Williams ruled the roost and again when McLaren were banging in 1-2 finishes race after race after race.

  4. jonrob says:

    The question is how can anyone stop Ferrari doing the same again, it needs all the other teams to stand up to Bernie and say “If we don’t get the same deal as Ferrari then we, as a group do not have a concord.” The only trouble there of course, is that Williams will cave in. as they did before.

    1. ian says:

      That’s unfair on Williams. The big manufacturers were not in F1
      for the same reason as Sir Frank ( or Force India by the way ).
      If you love the sport you don’t side with car manufacturers – they are only interested in themselves – as has been proved time and again. I doubt Mclaren – free from Mercedes – would be thinking that differently from FW.

      1. jonrob says:

        McLaren are quite capable of making their own engine, and could do so again when the Merc deal ends.
        They are not exactly a volume car manufacturer, the roads are not thick with McLarens.

      2. Stephen W says:

        They never have manufactured their own power unit,and the new road car unit is built outside.
        Its possible for McLaren to design and build an in house engine,but the costs involved would be enormous paricularly in relation to F1 engines

    2. Flintster says:

      To be fair to Williams – all they have is F1…! If that manufactured cars it would be a different story. You cant blame them for that, likewise you cant blame Ferrari for negotiating a higher fee. Which obviously is justified.

      1. jonrob says:

        How is Ferrari’s higher fee justified? By virtue of force majeur? So you are saying they should be paid more because they have spent more already and have a loud voice?
        I for one could be very happy to watch a year or more of Grand Prix without Ferrari in it, they are the Microsoft of F1. (I use Ubuntu Linux) Whenever they don’t get their own way their first reaction is to rush to court in a cloud of litigation. (like the computing ref there? Cloud!)
        If Ferrari stopped participating in F1 their image would die, they are beholden to the sport not the other way round. :-)

      2. James Allen says:

        No by virtue of having been in the sport for 60 years. McLaren and Williams also get more money because of longevity but they are 16 and 23 years respectively short of Ferrari’s tenure.

  5. BMG says:

    Interesting that you say that Ferrari are the king makers. Because the sport has been much better off, since Ferrari no longer dominates every race.

  6. Personally I belive Bernie to be a man of utter integrety and honesty. Perhaps too honest. He doesn’t seem afraid to speak his mind, but has perhaps in his eight decades learned when to hold his tongue untill a more approprate time. I belive Bernie first and foremost loves the sport. Motor racing series come and go all the time. Formula 3000, A1GP, IRL, CART A product of poor management perhaps? Under Bernie’s leadership, F1 has gone from strenght to strength, despite how we may sometimes feel about he proposing to drop historic tracks in favor of Tilke design tracks. Without him, perhaps there would be no tracks and no F1. As for rich men. I’ve met a few and non bothered too much about making money, they just made money almost incidently along the way of following thier passions whislt being sensible. I’ve met a few folk who do constantly strive for more money… they are almost exclusively poor

    1. TS says:

      “As for rich men. I’ve met a few and non bothered too much about making money, they just made money almost incidentally along the way of following thier passions whislt being sensible”

      Do the “rich men” who caused the recent financial crisis and “incidentally” caused the loss of millions of poor peoples homes and assets fall into your neat pigeon hole.?

      1. HowardHughes says:

        Sorry but that’s a bit of a ridiculous retort. Study CDOs, the pumped-up Californian mortgage market, the ratings agencies (Moodys, Standard & Poor, Fitch), the repeal of the Glass-Steagall act, the computer modelling that told the banks that packaging mortgage debt as collateralised debt obligations was prudent and beneficial to shareholders, and then consider the millions of ‘normal’ people who just had to borrow more and more to afford that extra holiday, 2nd car and bigger plasman screen…

        [mod]

      2. dren says:

        A little off topic there, but it was everyone involved, not just the “rich men”. The “poor men” made decisions that created the mess as well.

      3. Stephen W says:

        Well it is of topic, but unfortunately it was the “rich” men who became richer because the “poor” men were given credit they had no hope of repaying,and the simple answer is greed.

        Greed on both? Possibly,but you have to question the integrity of those who lent money in the first place.

    2. dren says:

      Great post. I feel the same way about Bernie. He has elevated F1 to such a high level world wide. He is finally caving in to the idea of HD TV which makes me happy. He has done wonders for the sport. Yes, the teams have as well, but Bernie is due much credit. F1 is his business, running a competing team is each team principle’s business.

  7. ben bailey says:

    Autosport also carries this story but adds a little:
    When asked if it was an ego-related problem, he said: “I wouldn’t call it ego but stupidity. They should think about the whole global side of it. All the teams are very competitive and want to win, which I support completely, but they need to want to win on level terms and not try to get a big advantage.

    “If they get an advantage because somebody designs a better car or they have a better driver or strategy, then super. But they should not try to devise things so that they can go in knowing that they have an advantage.

    “Lots of them would like to go in and have a little bit of a bigger engine than the others, which is not really the way to go.”

    Could Bernie be talking about flexing wings?

    1. Tim says:

      You have completely missed the point here.

      “If they get an advantage because somebody designs a better car ….. then super.”

      ie: Red Bull’s design process is the way to win

      “Lots of them would like to go in and have a little bit of a bigger engine than the others, which is not really the way to go.”

      ie: McLarens vetoing Red Bull getting the Mercedes engine is not the way to win

      1. ian says:

        Both Red Bull and Mclaren are playing the game fairly.
        Red Bull have found a very clever way around a rule – very much in the tradition of the best of F1 – and Mclaren have helped develop that engine to what it is.

    2. Steven says:

      He’s talking about flexiwings, double diffusers, f-ducts, moveable floors, spygate. Hes lumping it all together

      1. Ben bailey says:

        Exactly, “If they get an advantage because somebody designs a better car ….. then super.”

        A car within the spirit of the rules. Not with a bigger engine, or moveable floor or flexing wings!!!
        I would say, double diffuser, f duct, mass dampers and inside wheel breaking is designing a better car becuase it is not against the rules. engines are no bigger than 2.4 litres, areo parts are not meant to be moveable!!!

      2. Ben bailey says:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LQOWMKE-agw

        Tell me this not a moveable part: “But they should not try to devise things so that they can go in knowing that they have an advantage.”
        Bernie!

      3. murray says:

        “Spirit of the rules”? If you build a fence with a gap, the livestock WILL escape through it.

  8. Slowflow says:

    Oh how right you are Zobra.

    Bernie needs to live up to these words asap!

    “Too many people only think about what is good for them. It’s the same with the rules – they only think about what can make them win.”

    So tell me Bernie why is this still being allowed to happen when FOM have the evidence of wrong doing?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LQOWMKE-agw

    This proof is from the FOM video feed surely someone must have seen it!

    This is going to spoil what most people, consider to be, myself included, a fantastic season.

    Slowflow

    1. Steven says:

      As much as I want to say something against red bull here, I have to say that that video doesnt show any wrong doing. Its not about flexing when it hits something, its about flexing with the downforce as the speed increases, and that only flexes when it hits the curb..

    2. Luke Osborne says:

      I bet every teams front floor does something similar…

    3. Ben bailey says:

      Sorry Steven, you misunderstand the rules and the implication. No other teams tea tray flexes like this becuase its illgal. It must be rigid. The RB flex down at the wingtips with downfoce the tea tray flexing up against bumps, kerbs allows them to run low front end and softer suspension which both big gains.
      Read some of the tech forums for more explivation. This is iliigal and exactly what Bernie is talking about!
      “But they should not try to devise things so that they can go in knowing that they have an advantage.”
      This along with the flexing wing is circumnavigating the rules to gain a big advantage that no other team is doing because its illegal!

  9. MichaelT says:

    Regardless of the current polemics, the man is a master at understated confidence and is in a league of his own where retaining his composure is concerned.

    I found it hilarious to watch Jake Humphries on the BBC try to interview him in his first season as F1 presenter, only to be faced with a man who would not feel compelled to put on a shiny persona for TV. He simply told him where to go in not so many words.

    In a day and age of tv and media ruling all, it was refreshing to see someone unbowed by this potential intimidator. He must be an unbelievably good negotiator and a master of the golden silence.

    1. HowardHughes says:

      Agree totally.

      Plus he has sired two unbelievably fit daughters.

  10. Tim. says:

    Bernie……..being Bernie

  11. Mark V says:

    I certainly don’t dispute that Ecclestone knows how to make money and expand his business. However, he is not the first businessman to claim a lot more of the credit than he is due, since his business is still a collaborative effort between many talented people who also deserve a lot of respect.

    For example, record company executives would try to have the public believe that without them, great music would never find an audience. But of course it’s the other way around: without great music (which will always exist), record companies would have nothing to sell.

    So with or without Bernie, men and women will always get into extremely fast cars and risk their lives to drive them at their limits whether they get paid or not to do it, and there will always be an audience that wants to watch them do it. The drivers and their fans are the people at the heart of any sport, not the salesmen and owners who peddle it.

  12. MonzaOne says:

    There is nothing wrong being motivated by money and while he may have liked his first businesses such as the auto parts business, it was a means to an end.

    He has a BSc as well. what comes across from Bernie is that his passion is motor racing. From his racing days to his managing of drivers including Jochen Rindt and his successful owndership of Brabham through today, THIS is not driven by money but by his love for motor racing.

    If anyone wants a really good understanding underlining why being paid well is valid just read Nigel Mansell’s book co-written with James Allen.

    Bernie has made many people wealthy in f1, has been supportive of and instrumental in raising safety standards as well as bringing f1 to world class standard and fighting for the teams versus race promoters.

    Good man Bernie.

    1. Harvey Yates says:

      On the comment with regard to safety standards: there are a number of reports, in well respected magazines, both on and off line, to suggest that the warnings as to the then current danger and proposals to negate it were presented to the FIA before the real parents of the safety improvement, Senna and Ratzenberger, died.

      The FIA had to react. They had no alternative. Unlikely though the next sentence is, it is true. It was to the benefit of F1 that the deaths occurred in Italy with its convoluted legal system.

      I’m not aware of Bernie claiming any credit for the improvements. He may well have pushed them through but he had no alternative. He deserves credit for doing so energetically.

      I would in no way disagree with Bernie’s management making people millionaires. I also would not take any stance in a discussion as to whether Bernie has earned his considerable sum. The latter is beyond my ability to calculate.

      The question is whether or not Bernie has been good for the sport.

      There is no real way to judge unfortunately. What would the sport be like without him? From a spectator’s point of view it was just as exciting then as it is now. dare I mention the occasional overtake?

      Further, the circuits used to be full of enthusiasts and nowadays the stands seem to have a considerable number of corporate types.

      Do the changes add to the spectacle? I was thrilled in 1966 at my first GP. As the years went by the cars became better engineered and the drivers more focused. I’m not sure the racing improved much: it was still thrilling.

      I have stood next to Jim Clark, Rindt, Hill snr, Stewart, Andretti (well about 15 feet away) and Mansell. The stands is the nearest I ever got to Alonso and I was a big fan of his in his early days.

      Bernie has had a major influence on the sport. To conclude whether this is for the better one would first have to know what the sport would have been like if he hadn’t controlled the finances.

      As for not being interested in money: I think this could be proved if you tried to take some away from him. I’m not a betting man but I’d take one on whether you’d still have control of your hand, or finances, afterwards.

      I followed Brabham in the days that he ran it and I was a big fan. It was his ‘professionalism’ that other team managers had to follow or fail. There was a massive learning curve that Williams and Dennis coped well with and they dominated the sport for some years. Then the others caught up.

      I don’t think Bernie’s financial management had anything to do with their professionalism.

      Some have quoted the television coverage but are we to believe that it would not be covered without Bernie demanding a fortune for it?

      When every premier division rugby club has a dozen live feeds into their control room during a match it would require a big stretch of the imagination to believe that this development would have passed F1 by.

      And my understanding is that the contracts are restrictive. Post an excerpt from the TV coverage on YouTube and you will be sent an email and the offending bit will be removed.

      I know about copyright, being a freelance writer, so please don’t point out that it is Bernie’s to do with as he wishes as that is my point. F1 nerds who wish to share 30 seconds are banned. Professionalism indeed.

      I’m not suggesting Bernie has been bad for the sport. What I am saying is that we can’t know as we have no idea what the sport would have been like now without his influence. Apart from the Tilke circuits of course.

      One thing that is definite though is that Bernie in F1 has been incredibly good for Bernie.

      1. Jason C says:

        Super post.

        Read Bernie’s Game by Terry Lovell.

  13. Scott says:

    The concorde agreement is negotiated between FIA, Teams and Commercial rights holder? If so,
    wonder what the dynamics are now since Max Mosely is no longer the FIA driver in these things. Jean Todt probably has a different agenda for the FIA to what Max had.

    1. Bec says:

      The new ‘schedule 10′ of the current concorde agreement means Ferrari receive the most money even if they come last in the championship.

      1. jonrob says:

        Woha! how did you get a copy of the top secret
        Concorde Agreement. And where can I find a copy?

      2. Aaron James says:

        This should clear things up ;)

        No car except is allowed to win a race or overtake unless its a Ferrari. If you do accidently overtake a Ferrari you must immediately pull over to the side of the track and await a decision by the race director. However, regardless of the decision of the race director, the stewards may overrule that decision at any time, and demote you should you decide to continue the race and finish in front of a Ferrari. Any team considered to be better or equal to Ferrari will need to contact the race stewards before each race to find out which penalties will be awarded to them for being better than Ferrari. However, please note that surprise penalties will be awarded during the race, should you (1) overtake a Ferrari, (2) go near a Ferrari, (3) finish in front of a Ferarri, (5) Look at a Ferrari, or in any other way threaten Ferrari’s position as No.1 team in Formula 1.

  14. GarryT says:

    Somethings get really annoying particular when you see it in print on forums time and time again.

    When will some people face it that Bernie for whatever reason owns the rights to F1. The fact that he has the balls to make this happen is well goodluck to him.

    All I ever see written are the petty jealousy off people who probably never had a go in there own life.

    Good luck to Bernie, you know you have made it when the rest of the world always complains about you.

    In regard to his comment regarding breaking the rules its amazing how many people point to the flexi wing. get over it its legal the FIA says its legal.

    You should applaud that people can be innovative and work on the edge, come on folks we are in a business here why wouldnt you try and find the loop hole to gain a advantage over your competitor.

    If you want things completely equal go race A1 GP then you can moan about that too.

  15. nash says:

    “He is a man who gets things done and is frustrated by people who cannot” … (and admires those who can including Hitler).. LOL

    But I like him despite the unfortunate comment!

  16. nash says:

    If Bernie can get F1 onto mobile phones in Africa that will be his biggest contribution to the developing world.. as the technology is there but the infrastructure is not quite there.. and getting F1 onto a mobile requires huge infrastructural investments and offering a competitive product.. (and thereby contributing to a wider access to information in Africa)

  17. Red5 says:

    He has certainly overseen incredible growth both in the business and, with Max’s help, also in safety. A huge thanks for expanding and strengthening the sport as a whole.

    You can understand Bernie’s point; let the deal makers make the deals, let the team principles manage the teams.

    Need to get the technical regulations tidied up then the teams can fight it out on level terms. I felt that double diffusers, blown diffusers and the F duct should have been banned. That would then have brought all the teams back to the same baseline as well as give some of the newer drivers a chance to show their talent against equal machinery. Can’t blame competitive engineers for exploiting technical loop holes.

    The two big unknowns currently are Concorde Agreement and Bernie’s retirement. Let’s hope these issues can be sorted out amicably behind closed doors.

  18. JohnBt says:

    I’d still be working if I were Bernie. The challenges keeps him alive. Retirement is a death bed. Most of all he’s enjoying his job very much and mentally he’s very sharp at 80.

    You could remove half of his wealth and it won’t matter at all.
    Money is secondary at this point of his life.

    But I still disagree with some of tracks he has chosen which many fans are disgruntled with.

  19. MonzaOne says:

    Bernie’s favorite line?

    Listen [insert name] be reasonable, do it my way.

    :-]

  20. S2K says:

    I like the answer he gave to the fourth question. An elegant way to avoid a direct answer in which we would have said that he was a bad racing driver.

  21. Nilesh says:

    James,

    I read Flavio saying that he’s planning to come back in 2013. Do you see Flavio making a return to the sport?

    Bernie and Briatore seem to be close and it would seem that Bernie acknowledges and respects Flavio’s business acumen. How is Flavio tied to the 2013 Agreement? Personally, it surprises me how the sport cannot distance itself from someone who brought it into such disrepute.

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes I do, but not necessarily running a team. He’s still involved behind the scenes anyway. It depends a lot on what happens with the Concorde Agreement negotiations.

    2. Tim. says:

      This is F1 it has a very short memory…except for Drivers.

  22. Mike W says:

    He certainly was lucky as a child. Can you imagine the headlines if that sort of thing were to happen now…..

    “Chief of Formula 1 blown by Germany Military Machine”

    ….or did that happen to someone else?

  23. MonzaOne says:

    Let me state that I have high regard for BCE. I completely ignore any apparent negatives, because there is no evidence to support them.

    The Bernie I support is generous and loyal to his many friends in motor racing, with Niki Lauda supported safety readiness on grand prix weekends actively stopping track action when neccessary, has evolved F1 into a sport that is equal to the Olympics and is the reason why we have such superb coverage on tv, he has helped many drivers behind the scene.

    And as a kid, he allowed me access to the Brabham team to speak to Herbie Blash to explain what was neccessary to become a mechanic.

    There are a lot of generous, nice people in f1 who gave and give their time to those they have no need to. Bernie is one of those – known to all as a man whose word is his bond.

    Bernie started his business dealings at his mother’s kitchen table at the age of 14, and he has not forgotten his modest beginnings.

    And why not be a tough negotiator? In a sport where achievement depends on determination, focus and striving for the best, how can the man who has ran F1 to its heights, be anything less?

  24. Aaron James says:

    So by this logic, if we put this in football Notts County should get the most money as one of the clubs in existance the longest?

    Ferrari should stop being the Wayne Rooney of F1 and put up, or shut up.

  25. Tim. says:

    James please do a thread on Bernie wanting to get rid of the classic venues.

    It will draw big on comments.

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