Bernard Charles Ecclestone (born 28 October 1930) is a British business magnate. He is the former chief executive of the Formula One Group, which manages Formula One and controls the commercial rights to the sport, and part-owns Delta Topco, the ultimate parent company of the Formula One Group. As such, he was commonly described in journalism as 'F1 Supremo'.
On 23 January 2017, it was announced that Ecclestone had been replaced by Chase Carey as chief executive of the Formula One Group, though he has been appointed as chairman emeritus and will act as an adviser to the board.
His early involvement in the sport was as a competitor and then as a manager of drivers Stuart Lewis-Evans and Jochen Rindt. In 1972, he bought the Brabham team, which he ran for fifteen years. As a team owner he became a member of the Formula One Constructors Association. His control of the sport, which grew from his pioneering the sale of television rights in the late 1970s, was chiefly financial, but under the terms of the Concorde Agreement he and his companies also managed the administration, setup and logistics of each Formula One Grand Prix, making him one of the richest men in the UK. Ecclestone entered two Grand Prix races as a driver, during the 1958 season, but failed to qualify for either of them.
Formula One (also Formula 1 or F1) is the highest class of single-seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and owned by the Formula One Group. The FIA Formula One World Championship has been one of the premier forms of racing around the world since its inaugural season in 1950. The "formula" in the name refers to the set of rules to which all participants' cars must conform. A Formula One season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix (French for "grand prizes" or "great prizes"), which are held worldwide on purpose-built circuits and public roads.
The results of each race are evaluated using a points system to determine two annual World Championships: one for drivers, the other for constructors. Drivers must hold valid Super Licences, the highest class of racing licence issued by the FIA. The races are required to be held on tracks graded "1" (formerly "A"), the highest grade rating issued by the FIA.Most events are held in rural locations on purpose-built tracks, but there are several events in city centres throughout the world, with the Monaco Grand Prix being the most well-known.
Formula One cars are the fastest road course racing cars in the world, owing to very high cornering speeds achieved through the generation of large amounts of aerodynamic downforce. The cars underwent major changes in 2017, allowing wider front and rear wings, and wider tyres, resulting in cornering forces closing in on 8g and top speeds of up to approximately 375 km/h (230 mph).The hybrid engines are currently limited in performance to a maximum of 15,000 rpm and the cars are very dependent on electronics—although traction control and other driving aids have been banned since 2008—and also on aerodynamics, suspension, and tyres.
While Europe is the sport's traditional base, the championship is truly global, with 11 of the 21 races in the 2018 season taking place outside Europe. With the annual cost of running a mid-tier team—designing, building, and maintaining cars, pay, transport—being US$120 million, Formula One has a significant economic and job-creation effect, and its financial and political battles are widely reported. Its high profile and popularity have created a major merchandising environment, which has resulted in large investments from sponsors and budgets (in the hundreds of millions for the constructors). On 8 September 2016, it was announced that Liberty Media had agreed to buy Delta Topco, the company that controls Formula One, from private equity firm CVC Capital Partners for $4.4 billion in cash, stock, and convertible debt. On 23 January 2017, it was confirmed that the acquisition had been completed, for $8 billion.