Learn more Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Click Here Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop Women's Shop Men's

on 2 July 2003
Terry Lovell isn't a racing expert - he's an investigative journalist, which makes him ideally qualified to write this biography of Bernie Ecclestone. Most of what Ecclestone has done has little to do with racing - Bernie's world is all about money, power, deals, and intrigue. Racing just happens to be something Bernie enjoys and has built his fortune around.
The first half of the book is a relatively conventional biography of Ecclestone - his childhood, how he made his first couple of fortunes, his ownership of the Brabham F1 team and his eventual rise to power within FOCA, the body that represents the constructors. The FISA-FOCA "war" that threatened to tear F1 apart in the early 80s is described in detail. This half of the book is rich in anecdotes, quotes and incidents, and is great fun.
The second half of the book looks at the last 15 years or so and more particularly how Bernie has gradually taken control of almost all the commercial aspects of F1 - TV, race promotion, etc - and how he went from millionaire to billionaire. The politics and deals are bigger, but the writing is a bit flatter when the story heads away from the circuits.
I'll admit that big business isn't something I spend a lot of time reading about, and that racing is, so I found the first half of the book considerably more enjoyable than the second - but the depth of research Lovell has put into the book, and the insight he's achieved into the often rather murky political/financial dealings behind F1 are very obvious and the many conflicting threads of control are clearly explained.
There isn't a great deal of insight into Ecclestone the man - some comment from his friends from his early years and acquaintances in the racing game; a few pages near the end about his life now; but really very little you couldn't already work out - Ecclestone is portrayed as fastidious, intensely private, sarcastic, quick-witted, addicted to deals, still essentially the working-class boy made good and not someone easily impressed.
All in all, this is a comprehensive and generally highly readable profile of how Ecclestone made Formula 1 the sport it is today. There are a lot of surprising revelations (particularly in the first half of the book), though few startling ones for anyone who pays moderately close attention to what the city pages have to say about racing.
Recommended to racing fans who want to know how the sport's ended up the way it is or to people interested in the interactions between sport and business.
0Comment| 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 October 2009
As an armchair /TV enthusiast of Formula 1 racing over the past 15/ 20 years , I`ve only really seen the "glossy" side of this sport.Mainly the excellent TV coverage (from the BBC & ITV) on the Qualifying and Race Days including the background information and interviews of many of the characters both in front and behind the various teams ....including Bernie Ecclestone.

This book was recommended on one of these programmes so I obtained a copy in order to find out a little more of the "behind-the-scenes" of this multi-million dollar sport and how such an innocuous looking fellow with a dry wit and willing to comment an any asked question was held in such high esteem.

Wow...what a story ! I realise that to be rich (or mega rich!) then you have to be rather ruthless and this book certainly tells you that.From his humble beginnings with motorbike sales , via Brabham to the present day , I found it an excellent read giving me an in depth insight into the wheeling and dealing and the true character of many of the names from the world of Formula 1
I can now understand a little more why there are so many meetings (just casually mentioned on the TV programmes)...where the reality is more than a meeting , more like a battle where on most occasions Bernie gets the result he wants.

A recommended book for any F1 enthusiast ...whether armchair/TV or the globe trotting real enthusiast.

Would make a delightful Christmas or birthday present.

I wonder if there will be an update ...so that we can hear about Bernie`s role in the current argument regarding the venue for the next British Grand Prix ?

One criticism ( also mentioned by another reviewer) is the poor proof reading of the text....so let`s hope that the all facts are accurate.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 November 2004
More information on the little man than I've ever seen in one place! No other biography of him is this complete.
Gives a pretty good idea of what drives BCE; the final chapter(s) have yet to be written...
One comment - get a better proofreader.
Some of the grammatical & contextual errors could have been corrected by a child.
0Comment| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 11 May 2003
Actually I've been waiting for this book for a year and a half since its publication was announced in the summer of 2001. Since then release of the book had been postponed so many times that they started to believe this book might never be published, like once said by Nigel Roebuck in Autosport Magazine. Maybe there's a kind of threat or something as this book's dealing with "too internal" info of Bernie Ecclestone, who's been dominating commercial aspect of Formula One, one of the most fascinating and profitable sporting events on this planet for years.
All that said we finally got this book the description of which is just beyond my expectation. Bernie is a dealer by nature, cutting deals all time, they say, and the book just describes what he's done so as to establish F1 as the most lucratibe business naturally including "dirty" aspect.
The author stated Bernie once proposed to "buy out" the contents of this book and make it as authoridzed biography, whith the author just turned down. This fact shows how "badly" this book is telling the story of Bernie.
Formula One is nowadays a very fashionable business with a lot of big car manufactureres but we should remember this was just an "aristocratic" sport only 20 years ago. HE made it happen.
Read this if you love Formula One.
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 January 2014
This is one for the motor racing hardcore. It starts off OK describing Ecclestone's rise to wealth and fame. Then it becomes seriously bogged down (in my opinion) with motor racing politics and economics, which I found heavy going. So I have given it a rest. I might go back to it one day. I found Burning Rubber by Charles Jennings a very interesting insight into racing, past and present.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 September 2016
MY hero and role model
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 22 March 2015
very good!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 November 2016
poor read
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse