Bernie Ecclestone’s race to the bottom

The 92 year-old former Formula One Group CEO has been found guilty of failing to declare £400m of overseas assets

Bernard Charles Ecclestone began his racing career as a driver in 1958, entering two Grand Prix but failing to qualify for either. No matter: he soon built a career managing other drivers, then teams. By the late 1970s he was selling television rights to the sport, growing to control the administration and logistics of each and every Grand Prix as CEO of the Formula One Group until 2017 when the group was sold to America’s Liberty Media.

While the new owners tried to reach younger audiences with the Netflix show Drive To Survive – a huge success for the streamer – Ecclestone would go on to serve as chairman emeritus and adviser to the board. Now, at the age of 92, his decades-long relationship with the sport has ended in scandal, with Ecclestone handed a 17-month suspended sentence after pleading guilty to fraud.

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