Bernie Ecclestone has always been known for shooting from the hip in well controlled efforts to stir the pot and over the years has built up a collection of choice quotes which at times were outrageously provocative.
But be sure that every sentence he uttered had a hidden (or not so hidden) message in it, contrived to leverage whatever the self styled F1 supremo was plotting at the time of being quoted.
Here we present a collection Ecclestone’s most famous quotes:
“I can’t remember when I’ve ever been kind to a journalist.” Said during an interview with Telegraph.
“I was a bit of an idiot to do what I did to settle.” Said to Press Association after settling his German ciurt case for $100-million.
“I just hope that my reputation is of someone who is straightforward, honest and straight down the line, which is different to somebody who is going to screw people—because I haven’t done that. My reputation is worth more to me than money. I’d like to be remembered as the: handshake guy, the one who did it all on a handshake.” Discussing his style of deal-making with Management Today.
“If I did take away Silverstone and a British Grand Prix I’d be seen as a bad guy, but that wouldn’t bother me.” Said in an interview with the Mirror.
“You know I’ve got one of those wonderful ideas… women should be dressed in white like all the other domestic appliances.” Speaking about Danica Patrick to ESPN.
“I think the change that is currently taking place is very short-lived, as these social media people are starting to think it is not as good as they thought.” His theory about the demise of social media.
“The publicity generated by [Ayrton Senna’s] death was so much… It was good for F1.” Said to Folha de Sao Paulo.
“What I would really like to see happen is to find the right girl, perhaps a black girl with super looks, preferably Jewish or Muslim, who speaks Spanish.” His view on the best profile for a women F1 driver.
“In a lot of ways, terrible to say this I suppose, but apart from the fact that Hitler got taken away and persuaded to do things that I have no idea whether he wanted to do or not, he was in the way that he could command a lot of people, able to get things done.” Said in an interview with The Times.
“If McLaren had come clean and owned up none of it would have happened the way it did. He is a good friend of mine but Ron was six months pregnant and said he was a virgin. He knows he got off cheap.” Speaking after McLaren’s Spygate shenanigans which cost the team $100-million.
“He’s a first-class person. I always supported him. He could control Europe or America; he is able to deal with it. But I think he is very busy. Let him finish what he’s doing and then we’ll see.” His view on Vladimir Putin as told to Dailt Mail.
“I don’t celebrate. I don’t see the point. I went to my daughter’s wedding last week and walked her down the aisle. But I didn’t go to the celebrations the next day. I went home. I was there to do a job [give her away] and was happy to do that. I didn’t want to hang around. The whole thing was a huge affair, too much really.” Told the times after his daughter Tamara’s four day multi-million dollar wedding.
“I was deposed today. I’ve gone. That’s official. I am not running the company anymore. My position has been taken over by Chase Carey.” Said on 23 January when Bernie’s world changed forever.
Random quotes uttered by Mr E over the years:
- Anyone who doesn’t speak English isn’t worth speaking to
- Two races we’ve lost which I’m genuinely upset about were India and Turkey.
- If you say ‘Good Morning’ in America and it’s five past twelve you end up with a lawsuit.
- But when it comes to F1 I am a huge Lewis [Hamilton] fan because he is a super promoter of the sport. From a pure business aspect – sorry Nico if I have to say this – you are not so good for my business.
- I’d rather get to the 70-year-old guy who’s got plenty of cash.
- Waiters are like hookers, never around when you want them.
- [Donald] Trump would want to cosy up to him for sure, and he’d be right to do that. Which would be good for the world.
- When people want to built new tracks, they want to look at Silverstone. We don’t want it built like that. It’s quite embarrassing.
- Forget what others whisper in your ears. Most of that is pure rubbish that obstructs the view to what really is important. Always make your own decisions. That is what makes us human.
- Our sport is ruled whether it’s for good and bad, or whatever, for technical things. There’s lots of teams out there that could and should have done better if they’d have had technical things. I suppose in the end that basically revolves around how much money they’re gonna get.
- I am happy that we have somebody like Lewis [Hamilton]. I also couldn’t be like Lewis. I don’t like gold jewelry!
- Nico [Rosberg] is not seeking the limelight as Lewis [Hamilton] does. Lewis wants to be famous.
- Generally I still believe that Lewis [Hamilton] is the best champion that we have had in a long, long time. He manages to get to all different walks of life: red carpet, fashion business, and music – you name it.
- You have to hope that your opponents are unlucky. Never only rely on your own luck.
- If we didn’t have Nico [Rosberg] and Lewis [Hamilton] in those cars – there’s one or two guys down the field who in those cars would have delivered the same.
- [Maurizio Arrivabene is quite a character] but only for himself and not for Formula One.
- Take away Toto Wolff’s Mercedes shirt and send Sebastian [Vettel] down a street – nobody would recognize him.
- Lewis [Hamilton] is a hero in the UK. The British love Formula One. Sebastian (Vettel) is also not doing much for F1. People hardly recognize him on the street.
- A wise man who was always helpful to me: Mr (Enzo) Ferrari. He always supported me.
- As the cancellation of the German Grand Prix indicates, Germany is a terrible market for Formula One.
- I think we don’t need some people in Brussels trying to run countries that are some distance apart, who don’t speak the same language, don’t eat the same food. There’s a bit of difference between, Holland, if you like, and Italy.
- I have always been happy to have daughters rather than sons. You never really can be mad at girls for anything in life.
- [Donald] Trump, I think, is the sort of guy that if he maybe thought he’d made a little bit of a mistake, would find a way out, he wouldn’t want to say, “Well, that’s what I’ve done and I’m sticking to it, and I don’t give a damn.” Which is what the other people in America would be like.
- It’d be good for the world if [Donald Trump] won.
- Probably when I gave things to Slavica [ Ecclestone], you know the shares of the company, and things like that. And she put it all in trust and the trust sold the shares. Um, would I turn the clock back if I could and so I still owned the company completely? Probably yes. It probably wasn’t a good decision, but it was the decision that had to be made. Was I happy that I made it? No.
- Under the engine cover, no one cares what’s in there. Nobody cares.