F1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone has re-iterated that even as he approaches the grand old age of 80 later this year, he has no plans to retire from arguably the most influential position in the sport – reasoning that solving problems is his lifeblood.
Ecclestone has ruled the commercial side of F1 with an iron fist since the late 1970s when – having already established himself as a successful team owner at Brabham – he became chief executive of the Formula One Constructors’ Association (FOCA), shortly after which he artfully negotiated for FOCA to be delegated the rights to deal with the sport’s lucrative television contracts.
The British billionaire subsequently set up Formula One Management (FOM), and has been credited with taking F1 to new countries and new continents, with the likes of Bahrain, China, Turkey, Singapore and Abu Dhabi all having given the annual calendar a more Asian and Middle Eastern flavour in recent years, with Korea similarly set to join the fold in October, the volatile political situation permitting.
Despite long-time friend, ally and business partner Max Mosley having stepped down from his position of FIA President late last year – at some ten years Ecclestone’s junior – his elder countryman has again confirmed that he will not be going anywhere until they cart him away.
“I cannot stop,” he told German Sunday newspaper Bild am Sonntag. “For me, to retire means to die. When I wake up in the morning and have no more problems or nothing more to worry about, then it will be no longer worth waking up.”