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Bernie Ecclestone is best-known as the architect and figurehead of modern Formula One, but he has been a constant and often controversial presence in both Formula One and British public life since the 1970s. In this exhaustive and insightful biography, initially written in close collaboration with Bernie, Susan Watkins analyses in detail his rise to prominence, from his early entrepreneurial exploits as a schoolboy to his position today as a peerless businessman and multi-billionaire. All aspects of his business and racing exploits are examined, and contrasted with intimate insight into his personal life.
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Susan Watkins has written acclaimed biographies of Mary Queen of Scots, Elizabeth I and Jane Austen. She has lectured internationally on her historical subjects, and recently has written a stage play and screenplay on the Guinea Pig Club and Sir Archibald McIndoe, maverick WWII plastic surgeon. Married to Prof Sid Watkins, F1 surgical and safety consultant, she has been an F1 insider since the early 1980s, and her extended family has included Ayrton Senna, James Hunt, Jackie Stewart and Stirling Moss.Review:
"While Susan Watkins biography is evidently a sympathetic one, it's not a whitewash. (About his interactions with journalists: "At the end, the interviewer is usually no wiser.") An in-depth look at a complex personality; full of neat gossip." - Road & Track
"Hot on the heels of renewed talk of a F1 'breakaway' series, reports quote Ron Dennis as accusing Bernie Ecclestone of stealing the sport's commercial rights from the teams. The McLaren supremo's comments appear in the new Ecclestone biography called 'Bernie'. "Bernie effectively stole Formula One from us," Dennis charged. He is referring to the transfer of F1's lucrative commercial rights from the team-led Formula One Constructors' Association (FOCA) to Ecclestone's company in the 90s. "He used this commercial benefit to persuade the teams to accept a contract that eliminated them from the passing of rights as had previously existed," Dennis said in the book. McLaren - as well as Williams - contested the transaction, claiming that some of the profits of the rights' subsequent sale belonged to them. The British teams also sued the law firms that represented them for giving bad advice, but Ecclestone insists they simply regretted not making a wiser decision. "It's only when things started to look good and I invested the money and it started to work that they thought maybe they should have done it," said the 80-year-old." - Speed TV
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