Bernie Ecclestone believes he won’t leave anything behind once he departs this world, insisting he’ll be “quickly forgotten”, with no legacy to speak of.
The 89-year-old former F1 supremo, a former driver manager turned team owner, spearheaded for four decades Grand Prix racing’s extraordinary development and prosperity, transforming a sport beloved by a small community of aficionados into a global business empire.
A racer at heart, but also a divisive figure in the paddock who wielded enormous power, Ecclestone was forced to pass on the baton upon Formula 1’s takeover by Liberty Media at the start of 2017.
Queried on his legacy during a recent Beyond the Grid podcast with Formula 1’s Tom Clarkson, Mr. ‘E’ believes the story of his life will quickly be forgotten.
“I don’t have one. I will disappear and be forgotten within a few months like most people,” he said.
“Nobody remembers. The world moves on. New people, new things happen. The world is moving so quick now to what it used to, maybe 20 years ago even.
“It’s easy for people to march on for new things, new ideas.”
Ecclestone, who still visits the F1 paddock at selected events, such as last weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, chimed in on the debate about Lewis Hamilton’s regular omission from the Queen’s New Year’s honours list, revealing that he once turned down a knighthood.
“I don’t particularly agree with these things,” he explained. “I think 20-odd years ago, I was given the opportunity, and decided not to.
“Really because I don’t think doing things that I’ve done deserve any acknowledgement from anyone. All the things I’ve done, I didn’t set off to do something good for the country.
“If, by chance, it happened, I did do something good for the country, good. But it wasn’t my intention.”
Ecclestone then applied his logic to Hamilton’s own knighthood case.
“He’s done a great job for England, for sure,” Ecclestone said.
“On the other hand, like myself, he never set out to do something good for England. He set out to do something good for what he wanted to do.
“But there are people on lots of occasions where people do try to do things for the country, and don’t benefit from it financially. They benefit perhaps that they have done something good.”
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