Bernie Ecclestone was little more than a minor player up until the early 1970s. A sometime racer in 500cc Formula 3, he’d befriended and advised the promising Stuart Lewis-Evans, until the south Londoner succumbed to burns sustained in a crash at the 1958 Moroccan Grand Prix. The second-hand car trader subsequently withdrew from the race tracks to focus on… empire building, let’s say – until Jochen Rindt rocked up in the mid-1960s. As the Austrian’s star rose in the first year of the new decade, so too did Ecclestone’s – but in a quieter, less demonstrative, but by no means less effective manner.
Read part one of this series here: The history of F1: The 1950s