Bernie Ecclestone is the president and CEO of Formula 1 management and as such, is one of the most powerful men in world motorsport.
Ecclestone initially became involved in F1 having purchased the Connaught team in the 1950s but he walked away from the sport when one of the drivers he was managing, Stuart Lewis-Evans, died following an incident at the Moroccan Grand Prix when the engine in his car exploded.
Ecclestone soon became involved in motorsport once again and returned to F1 when he purchased the Brabham team in the early 1970s. He was then instrumental in forming the Formula 1 Constructors Association in 1974 alongside people like Max Mosley, Ken Tyrell and Frank Williams.
Having become chairman of FOCA, Ecclestone found himself in a series of battles with FISA and in 1981, FOCA was given the rights to negotiate television deals for the sport. Having secured the drivers' title in 1981 and 1983, Ecclestone sold the Brabham team to focus on his other commitments and still controls the commercial aspect of F1.
Ecclestone has been keen in taking Formula 1 to a wide range of new markets in recent years, with the sport moving into countries like Bahrain, Malaysia and China. Ecclestone has also been outspoken on more than one occasion against some of the more traditional events – most notably the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
In 2007, Ecclestone was announced as the new owner of Queens Park Rangers football club along with Renault F1 team chief Flavio Briatore and multi-billionaire Lakshmi Mittal.
Most recently, Ecclestone has found himself involved in the battle between FOTA and the FIA over the proposed breakaway from F1.