Jean Todt and Sir Richard Branson are two high profile targets of Bernie Ecclestone’s ire in a new book about him
According to the Daily Telegraph leading journalists this week are poring over review copies of No Angel, The Secret Life of Bernie Ecclestone. Telegraph correspondent Tom Cary is apparently one of the first to finish the book, revealing Virgin’s Branson and FIA president Todt as two of the sport’s figures criticised by Ecclestone, the F1 chief executive.
“A nickel and dime operation,” said Ecclestone, referring to Virgin Racing. “He (Branson) won’t last.”
More significantly is the Briton’s criticism of Todt, the successor as FIA president to Ecclestone’s long-time friend Max Mosley.
Cary said that within the new book, Ecclestone’s “clear dislike” of Frenchman Todt is obvious.
The book claims Ecclestone paraded the banned Flavio Briatore on the Monza grid last year just to rile Todt.
“Ecclestone enjoyed chastening Jean Todt whose indecisive grandeur infuriated him,” author Tom Bower wrote.
Ecclestone confirmed: “He (Todt) put the president’s hat on and his personality changed.”
According to Cary, the book also revealed a telling quip by Ecclestone when, as a car salesman in his earlier life, a buyer complained that his MG did not as promised have a heater.
“Are you calling me a liar?” Ecclestone told the buyer. “You want to be careful, boy. I’ve had fingers cut off.”