With the success of Drive to Survive, is it any wonder that the time might be good for more content that pulls the veil back on Formula 1? Is it any wonder that Manish Pandey might be the person to do it given his terrific biography about called Senna?
This month a new series that I am very interested in seeing is called Lucky and it focuses on F1’s head of state, Bernie Ecclestone, over the decades he held court prior to selling the series to Liberty Media.
About the Story:
Lucky! is the story of the ultimate underdog – Bernie Ecclestone – and his lifelong quest to turn the sport he loves, Formula 1, from the lethal pastime of rich amateurs into a televised global super-sport, rivaled only by the Olympics and the Football World Cup. It is also the story of a fundamental conflict, increasingly seen in all aspects of life: the balance between a pursuit, in this case sport, and money.
But Lucky! is about so much more than just a sport and money – it’s about one man’s true grit and determination to overcome all the odds to create a super brand followed and adored by millions of people worldwide.
About the man:
“I never planned anything in Formula 1. If I saw an opportunity, I took it, and if it was successful it was because… I was lucky!’
In a recent interview with Tatler magazine, Formula 1 legend Eddie Jordan said of Bernie Ecclestone – “anyone who has had a business, sold it four times, has never brought it back, has never lost control of it, and still owns it, is pretty special. And do you know the most important thing? He never f**king owned it in the first place”.
Clever, colourful, controversial, enigmatic, ruthless but hugely loyal, Bernie Ecclestone single-handedly transformed Formula 1 from a collection of enthusiastic amateurs into the hugely successful global franchise it is today.
I’m very interested to see this series and it’s good timing to because as I’ve mentioned, all the new DTS fans are good news for F1 but if you can’t convert many of them into anoraks, you won’t keep them. As anyone who has followed the sport for decades will tell you, it is learning and understanding the history of the sport that ensnares you for life.
Bernie was no angel and the biography that Susan Watkins wrote was a very good read. Bernie became the bad guy to many F1 fans and the focal point for much criticism but he also was making millionaires out of teams, team bosses, drivers and the FIA all while taking the heat for anything that went wrong.
He expertly deflected the heat, knew that even bad PR was good PR and sure, he exploited the series, TV rights and much more. New fans may be shocked by what they learn given today’s penchant for judging history through tomorrow’s lens but there is a reason that you would find very few in the paddock castigating Bernie because they saw the other side of him and all the things he has done for the sport over the decades.
I have a personal story about Bernie as well and how he dealt with our website which was incredibly kind only to be completely tossed out when Liberty, an American company, bought F1.
Like most things, I am sure Manish will handle the positive and negative with a measured hand (I would be shocked if he didn’t to be honest). I found working with Manish to help him promote Senna when it was launched was a very positive experience.
James Allen has a nice piece over at Motorsport here.