Bernie Ecclestone didn’t swing in the 60s because he was ‘too busy doing deals’

Bernie Ecclestone has revealed he had little time for 'swinging' back in 60s due to his business exploits.

The 92-year-old former F1 supremo has become renowned as one of the most divisive figures in the sport's history. And 2022 was an eventful year for the Englishman, charged with fraud after allegedly failing to declare £400m worth of overseas assets.

Ecclestone also dubiously defended Russian President Vladimir Putin, despite him instigating a harrowing invasion of Ukraine. He did later apologise for his comments, but was also accused of failing to criticise racist remarks made by former F1 driver Nelson Piquet towards Lewis Hamilton.

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But the long-standing former chief executive of F1 has lived nothing if not a hectic life. And in the first episode of Lucky!, a documentary series about Ecclestone and Formula 1 on Discovery+, he gave an insight into his life 50 plus years ago.

"The 60s, back in London, it was a swinging city for sure. I didn’t swing at all, I was trying to do any deals I could to make a few dollars. I had another business, which was a proper car showroom."

Ecclestone didn't clarify what he meant by 'swing', but by the 60s he had finished his own racing career. In fact, he raced in just two Grand Prix races, but retired in 1958 following the death of a fellow driver.

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But in the mid 1970s, Ecclestone became a member of the Formula One Constructors Association and his influence, especially financially, soon grew. He would remain at the helm until 2017, when he was removed from his position as chief executive of Formula One Group following its takeover by Liberty Media.

His abrasive style of leadership inevitably brought about fallouts. He publicly feuded with Jackie Stewart back in 2004 over the terms of conditions of the British Grand Prix, briefly throwing the future of the famous race into doubt.

Ecclestone has also dipped his toe into football, joining forces with Flavio Briatore in 2007 to buy Queens Park Rangers. In 2011, the pair sold their entire shareholding to Tony Fernandes, previous owners of the Caterham Formula 1 team


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