Bernie Ecclestone – The Puppeteer of Formula 1
The current F1 supremo, a facile and smooth operator, uncaring sometimes, looks little but an absolute enigma, yes, I am speaking about the man who runs the show, Bernie Ecclestone.
This man is a living legend today, but going back to when he was introduced to the exclusive world called Formula One, I doubt if he envisioned Formula One the way it is as of now.
Formula One in its yester years was only a bunch of techies who believed that their purpose of life was laid out on the track but, their “couldn’t give a toss” attitude towards marketing strategies and political plans never made the sport the spectacle it was meant to be. It required a man to rule it with an iron fist, and who would never view F1 from a moral high ground, and boom, Bernie happened. The sport since, has never known a better supremo.
But, we all know that time waits for no man. And the same applies to Bernie as well. With the number of strings that the big man pulls and the undying racing spirit beneath his apparently cold and heartless self, just to make sure F1 is alive and the V8s continue to roar, it is difficult to imagine the world of Formula One without him.
It’s not very hard to imagine why some of the world’s biggest billionaires are keen on owning the sport. F1 has an amazing global reach. The majority audience who watch the sport constitute the niche populous, who earn in the hundreds of millions. Another vital factor in this equation is the fact that the only other sporting spectacles which close to this kind of an outreach and which constitutes this kind of money are the FIFA world cup and the Olympics, both of which cannot be owned and take place only once in four years. This only takes the competition to the next level.
Whosoever succeeds the big man, there is a general attitude among the paddocks that Formula One will be run with a softer hand, will be more “cuddly” and have a more socialable mindset. But you’re wrong fellas. Bernie’s racing spirit and the unparalleled and uncanny skill of doing what is “necessary” for the good of the sport is a rare occurrence. They are not going to care one iota about the sport. They will only be interested in realising the huge profits the sport holds.
So, if you want to continue to hear the V8’s roaring, the sling shots coming, and want to keep the rubber burning; be careful what you wish for, for Bernie is an absolutely necessary evil this sport needs today, more than ever.
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