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Bernard Charles "Bernie" Ecclestone (born 28 October 1930) is a British billionaire sports entrepreneur, as president and CEO of Formula One Management and Formula One Administration and through his part-ownership of Alpha Prema, the parent company of the Formula One Group of companies. As such, he is generally considered the primary authority in Formula One racing. He is most commonly addressed in tabloid journalism as "F1 Supremo". 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, is chiefly financial, but under the terms of the Concorde Agreement he and his companies also manage the administration, setup and logistics of each Formula One grand prix. Ecclestone attempted to compete in two Grand Prix races during the 1958 season but failed to qualify for either of them.

He is also the co-owner of Queens Park Rangers Football Club.

Ecclestone was born in St Peter South Elmham, a small hamlet three miles south of Bungay, Suffolk. Shortly thereafter his family moved to Bexleyheath, Kent, now a part of Greater London, and Ecclestone left school at the age of 16 to work at the local gasworks, and to pursue his hobby of motorcycles. Immediately after the end of World War II, Ecclestone went into business trading in spare parts for motorcycles, and formed the Compton & Ecclestone motorcycle dealership with Fred Compton. His first racing experience came in 1949 in the 500cc Formula 3 Series, acquiring a Cooper Mk V in 1951. He only drove a limited number of races, mainly at his local circuit, Brands Hatch but achieved a number of good placings and an occasional win. His aspirations took a knock when he collided with Bill Whitehouse and landed in the car park on the outside of the track. Eventually, commercial pressures and the risks persuaded him to retire from the cockpit.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bernie Ecclestone."
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