Updated to include the dramatic events of the past 12 months, the paperback of Susan Watkins’s acclaimed biography of Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has just been published by Haynes.
The new edition details the spectacular rift that emerged between Bernie and his old friend Max Mosley in the wake of the News of the World sting, as well as the mugging of December 2010 that the 80 year old, in his inimitable way, turned into a publicity stunt.
The author’s 30-year friendship with Bernie Ecclestone has allowed her to chronicle his life “from the inside out”. After five years of delays and legal challenges, the hardback was finally published, to rave reviews, at the end of last year. After publication Bernie stated, “Susan has written a very good, honest and straight-forward book.”
The book offers an intimate portrayal of one of the richest, most powerful men in sport, who counts kings and heads of state amongst his friends and has been known to keep prime ministers waiting.
Despite the author’s close relationship with her subject, the twists and turns of his life are covered openly and candidly. The book contains astonishingly frank admissions from a man not known for his humility, who told the author “I’ve hurt people.”
As a child, Bernie Ecclestone got up at five in the morning to deliver newspapers on two separate rounds, then collected cakes to resell at a profit in the school playground. In his early twenties he could swagger through London’s tough cauldron of used car sales, Warren Street, where his swift, smart sales technique earned him the respect of the street’s shrewdest dealers along with the nickname ‘the Whippet’.
Colourful and previously unheard anecdotes of Ecclestone’s years in the paddock are provided by Professor Sid Watkins, celebrated neurosurgeon and former official Formula 1 medical officer, and close friend and confidant of Bernie. Professor Watkins is married to the author.
Susan Watkins’s unique and privileged position as part of Bernie’s life and world means close friends, colleagues and enemies alike have had their say in this biography, revealing respect, admiration and exasperation in almost equal measure.
Members of Bernie’s family, including his late sister, have contributed their intimate knowledge about his youth in Bexleyheath. Others from his Warren Street car dealing days, who have subsequently passed away, have offered their experiences of the young salesman.
Illustrated with images of Bernie’s headiest days at the top – showing him with the likes of David Beckham and Vladimir Putin – as well as newly published photos gathered from friends, family and associates, Susan Watkins’s biography is the closest readers will ever get to an official, authorised biography.