Happy Birthday, Bernie

Stephan Heublein

Formula One is a dictatorship and Bernie Ecclestone is its supreme ruler. He has taken the motorsport series from the preserve of amateur constructors working in British backyards to the status of a global business, and all of this with hard work, rigid discipline and no e-mails, because he always has these printed out as hard copy by his secretary.

Bernie, who has just turned 80 today (28th October), doesn't look like your average octogenarian. He developed a keen entrepreneurial sense at a very early age. When he was still attending school, he would buy sweets in bulk from the nearby confectioner's and sell them on in the playground during break. With a mark-up, obviously. His first job in Formula One was as manager for Stuart Lewis Evans. Later, he entered a business partnership with his friend Jochen Rindt.