Bernie Ecclestone: what they said about him

Published: 20 April 2011

The new biography of Bernie Ecclestone is a compelling potboiler, which strips bare the amazing life of the 80-year-old wheeler-dealer who runs F1. If you take out a subscription to CAR Magazine this month, we'll send you a free hardback copy worth £17.99. Click here to read more about this special deal.

Written by notorious biographer Tom Bower and called No Angel, the book is packed with the unbelievable anecdotes, clashes, showdowns and betrayals which have marked Bernie’s rise from poverty to billionaire status.

You can read loads more about the book in the new May 2011 issue of CAR Magazine, including many of the bizarre and hilarious quotes from the man himself.
But what did his rivals, contemporaries, team owners and oppos have to say about him?

Here’s a taste:

ENZO FERRARI (to Bernie):

‘You talk too much about money. On top of the table is the sport and underneath is the business. If you are going to run a brothel you wouldn’t put up a big sign saying “Brothel”. You would put up a sign saying “Hotel” and run a brothel in the basement.’

ALASTAIR CALDWELL (designer hired by Bernie at Brabham):

‘He’s a sad little unfulfilled twerp whose real name is Ecclestein and whose father was probably a multi-million-pound trawler owner and he’s robbed billions off the Grand Prix teams.’


‘Bernie, you’re not a liar but your concept of the truth is different from other people’s’


‘Napolean had a Bernie complex’


‘You know where you are with Bernie. You know he’ll do anything to extract money. He won’t feel good tomorrow unless he thinks that I’ll wake up and feel screwed by the deal’


‘An impulsive, quicksilver, strange person whom I still don’t understand’


‘I think Bernie only wants one thing. Bernie wants to be richer than he is. I can’t imagine anyone being richer than he is, but Bernie can’

SLAVICA MALIC (Bernie’s wife):

‘He thinks he’s a big man but he’s a dwarf’

Read more about Bernie’s story in Car. Better still: subscribe to Car today and we’ll send you a hardback copy of the book free.


By Greg Fountain

CAR's former managing editor, editor, caption chiseller, noticer of ironies