Bernie Ecclestone, 89 anni, was a teenager when the 1st British Grand Prix took place in Y 1950 at Silverstone and much has changed at the highest level from a sport in which drivers were lucky to survive a race, let alone a season, to 1 which some claim is too safe now.
Ahead of the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, Bernie recalled how Nino Farina won for Alfa Romeo and he slept in his car the night before competing in the F3 race on the support bill!
Formally known as The Royal Automobile Club Grand Prix d’Europe Incorporating The British Grand Prix, Mr. Ecclestone recollected the weekend, “Nobody who was not there in 1950 can understand how different it was back then.
“There were hardly any photographs taken of it. We didn’t know then that F1 would come to have a history that was worth recording. It could have come and gone in a flash.”
Bernie is well qualified to judge the legendary talent that he came into close contact with over the years, and said, “Stirling was the greatest driver of the time. He chose to do what he wanted to do, and he did not want to win a world title if he did not do it in an English car.
“But they were a completely different breed of people. The drivers were different, the promoters were different, the team owners were different.
“They were all individuals, free-spirited. People like Graham Hill, Phil Hill, ‘Taffy’ von Trips lived and raced and spoke as they wanted to.
“They didn’t care if they upset people — not that they set to offend. Then, you did not have a rigid start time. You’d say let’s start at about 3-ish. It might get to 3.15 and you are still waiting for someone to turn up. You end up starting at 3.30.”
But that soon changed as Bernie envisaged the value of F1 TV rights at a time when few did and, with this in mind, he started a process of turning the sport for anoraks (a British slang term which refers to a person who has a very strong interest, perhaps obsessive, in niche subjects. This interest may be unacknowledged or not understood by the general public) into the global phenom it is today.
The beginnings were humble but a far cry from a trailer in a ditch called a paddock, as Bernie explained, “We started tidying the trucks up and getting them lined up to make it look as if we knew what we were doing.
“Then you tidy up the regulations… and someone adds to them… and suddenly you can’t move for grid penalties,” he added with a sarcastic dig at the state-of-play in modern F1..
“The real danger has gone, too. You know, Lewis said to me a few years back that it’s a shame F1 is not more dangerous. These guys want to race on the edge,” added Mr. Ecclestone.
Records show that since the early 1950’s 43 drivers have perished in the Top flight, testing included, and that is not counting F1 drivers who were killed in series other than F1.
Bernie knew most of the departed and some them very well indeed.
Sunday sees the 1st and only running of the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, celebrating the 1st-ever round of F1 that spawned the sport back on 13 May 1950 at Silverstone.
Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) is the only team that has participated in every F1 race since the beginning.
Our overall technical outlook is Bullish in here, as all Key indicators are Very Bullish.
Ferrari finished at 186.64, -0.09 Thursday in NY, just shy of its intraday all time highs at 189.26 marked on 3 August 2020.
The Maranello Outfit’s shares were raised to Buy from Hold at HSBC.
Ferrari will continue to create value in the long term. Ferrari is a quality 1st long term luxury products investment, and I have called it at it at 200+/share long term, adjusting it to 200/share short term (after the virus) and siding with BAML to 230 long term for now. The stock is now considered defensive in the sector.
Have a super racing day at Silverstone