Ecclestone, Bernie (Bernard Charles Ecclestone), 1930–, English automobile racing executive. After a short career racing Formula Three cars in the late 1940s and early 1950s, he managed Formula One (F1) drivers Stuart Lewis-Evans (late 1950s) and Jochem Rindt (late 1960s). In 1971 he bought F1's Brabham team, which won two F1 world drivers' championships (1981, 1982) under his leadership. He also became a member and then president (1978) of the Formula One Constructors Association (FOCA), which worked to increase the teams' share of F1 revenues. In 1981 FOCA won control of F1's commercial rights, and Ecclestone consolidated television coverage, significantly increasing income from television rights and other sources. After selling Brabham (1987), he devoted his efforts to the increasingly lucrative management and control of F1 (facilitated in part by the control in the mid-1990s of F1's governing body by former Brabham associates). From 2004, however, outside financial stakes in his F1 holding company at times threatened his control of the sport, and he was ultimately forced out as chief executive of the Formula One Group in 2017 after control had been acquired (2016) by Liberty Media.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Sports: Biographies