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At home with Bernie Ecclestone

NEWS STORY
10/09/2012

Regular readers will have seen that in recent weeks we have been running a series of photos taken by various Formula One drivers and team bosses as well as other famous personalities from the sport. The photos have been taken and autographed for an auction called Zoom in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital. It is no exaggeration to say that the photos are a very diverse bunch with all those taking part revealing an artistic bent.

We have had photos of Mark Webber's pet dogs drinking at a stream, an old tractor Adrian Newey found in India, an Alpine vista taken by Sebastian Vettel on a skiing trip and a mass-gathering of Ferraris in front of Mario Andretti's vineyard in California. The live auction takes place on Friday so it is fitting that the closer we get to it, the more fascinating the images which are being released.

Pitpass is an official media partner of Zoom so we can bring readers photos before any other outlet. Today's photo is certainly a timely one and it has never before been released. The ornately-designed cart that you see in the picture above belongs to none other than F1's boss Bernie Ecclestone. The cart contains chopped up bits of wood and sits outside Ecclestone's chalet 'Le Lion' in the exclusive ski resort of Gstaad in Switzerland. The chalet is where Ecclestone recently got married for the third time to long-time girlfriend Fabiana Flosi and it certainly has his touch to it.

Ecclestone's offices in Knightbridge are littered with objects he has acquired over the decades he has been involved with F1. There's a fireman's hat, a model of a million dollars in cash and a statue of two hands gripping each other in a disembodied handshake. The cart outside the chalet continues this trend and Ecclestone told Pitpass' business editor Christian Sylt, who is one of the founders of Zoom, that "it came from somewhere like Turkey. It is just for decoration and not for use."

The photo has been signed by Ecclestone and is being auctioned exclusively online through the Zoom website with bidding opening late next week after the live auction of other photos has taken place. Ecclestone is the only person who has taken two photos and his other one will be auctioned at next week's event. It is also of another item which Ecclestone has picked up along the way. In fact it is a pair of statues and they take pride of place on the mantle piece in the lounge of Ecclestone's chalet.

Our gallery shows the photo of the statues and there is no doubting that they are mysterious. "These two interesting statues are in my house in Gstaad in Switzerland. I can't remember where they came from but I like them a lot," says Ecclestone. It is a truly personal glimpse inside the house of F1's most powerful man with the only other people who are likely to have seen it recently being the guests at Ecclestone's wedding.

On Saturday Zoom was the cover story of the Daily Telegraph's motoring section and the report showed off a few more of the photos. Whilst they don't go behind closed doors, they do show one-of-a-kind views. Perhaps the most unusual is Caterham driver Vitaly Petrov's picture of a giant earth mover which can also be seen in our gallery. In fact, there is a perfectly logical reason for Petrov's choice of photo as he explains.

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