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Last Updated: Monday, 11 October, 2004, 14:20 GMT 15:20 UK
The main men in F1
The row over the future of the British Grand Prix has highlighted the huge influence Bernie Ecclestone holds within Formula One.

BBC Sport profiles Ecclestone and Max Mosley, F1's other major powerbroker.

BERNIE ECCLESTONE

Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone
Mosley (left) and Ecclestone wield the power in F1
Bernie Ecclestone made Formula One what it is today, and he rules the sport through a mixture of fear, respect and acute business acumen.

The one-time motorcyle salesman can claim pretty much all the credit for transforming the sport into the huge global brand it is today.

It was Ecclestone who started the F1 revolution in the 1980s by persuading team owners that he should negotiate on their behalf for television and marketing rights.

As a result, he is now an extremely wealthy man.

Reputed to be worth 2.3bn, Ecclestone and his family occupied eighth position on the Sunday Times Rich List for 2004.

His love of motor racing began in the 1950s, but a crash ended his career as a driver.

He then moved into management. His first client was Stuart Lewis-Evans, who was killed in a crash.

Ecclestone then managed the Austrian Jochen Rindt, who also died in a crash but became the first driver to be posthumously named world champion.

In the 1970s, Ecclestone bought the Brabham team.

He sold the company in the late 1980s, and then launched his bid to overhaul F1's commercial arrangements.

Ecclestone now owns a network of companies which have the exclusive right to sell and market the International Automobile Federation's (FIA) TV rights.

In 2000, the FIA agreed to lease him the rights for 100 years, which further increased his position.

In March 2000, he sold 50% of one of his companies, Slec Holdings, to German broadcaster EM.TV.

The shares then passed to media giant Kirch, which acquired another 25% of the business, leaving Ecclestone with 25%.

Kirch collapsed in 2002, with three banks - Bayerische Landesbank, Lehman Brothers and JPMorgan - taking over its stake in F1.

While talks go on about the sale of the banks' shares, Ecclestone's grip on the sport remains is undiminished.

Now 73, he has often said that the pursuit of wealth is no longer the main driving force in his life.

But, as the dispute over the future of Silverstone has shown, Ecclestone will never allow himself to come off second best in any deal.

MAX MOSLEY

Mosley is the son of controversial MP Oswald Mosley, the leader of the British Union of Fascists in the 1930s.

At one time he considered a career in politics, but was advised against it because it was thought his family background would count against him.

The qualified barrister has, however, used his skills to good effect as president of motorsport's governing body the FIA.

While Ecclestone has a reputation as a streetwise wheeler-dealer, Mosley is seen as a cerebral operator, responsible for implementing a raft of changes to the way the sport is run.

His involvement with motor racing began in the late 1960s when he co-founded March - a racing car manufacturer.

The company then moved into building F1 cars and built up a dominant position in American Indy Car racing in the 1980s.

Mosley, however, extricated himself from March to concentrate on F1 politics.

He was Ecclestone's lawyer during a bitter dispute within the sport in the early 1980s, and played a key role in drafting the Concorde Agreement which settled the issue and still governs F1 today.

By 1991, Mosley had become president of the sporting arm of the FIA. Two years later, he was elected president of the whole federation.

Through the FIA, he has involved himself in road safety, and takes pride in the part he played in the introduction of the Euro NCAP crash test standards.

Over the years, Mosley has had a number of spats with F1 car makers over his plans for the sport.

He announced in July that he intended to quit his FIA role at the end of the season, saying that he found discussions with team owners increasingly tedious.

But he subsequently decided to stay on until at least October 2005 after the FIA senate asked him not to step down.

Mosley has also had public rows with Ecclestone.

But many F1 insiders believe these are just part of a well crafted plan to strengthen their control over the sport.

Whatever team owners, manufacturers and F1 fans may think of them, few would dispute that the pair form a brilliant and powerful double act.




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