Formula One recession hits hard


Bernie Ecclestone is the eighth richest man in Britain, according to the latest edition of the Sunday Times Rich List.

Ecclestone and his wife Slavica are said to have a personal fortune of 2.32bn, though this doesn't include the recent property sales which added another 40m to the Ecclestone coffers.

Thanks to his superb property portfolio, former Jaguar and Ferrari driver Eddie Irvine is now wealthier than his former employers. The Ulsterman is (joint) 267th in the rankings with a personal fortune of 153m.

Former racer Martin Birrane, who now owns Lola, amongst other things, is 372nd (105m) ahead of 1979 World Champion Jody Scheckter (443rd 90m), who made a killing in the arms industry.

Under-fire McLaren boss Ron Dennis is 491st (82m) ahead of Frank Williams (527th 76m) and Eddie Jordan (777th 50m)

Hopefully BAR's recent run of strong results doesn't owe any significance to David Richards' ranking, he's 666th with a fortune estimated at 60m.

The Ecclestones have actually slipped in the rankings, in 2003 they were third with an estimated fortune of 2.4bn. Hopefully the 2004 world Championship will pick up, resulting in increased TV viewing figures and thereby more income from broadcasters, sponsors and potential race hosts. Putting Bernie back on top where he belongs.

Eddie Irvine wasn't even mentioned in the 2003 'rich list', which goes to show just what the guy can do when he doesn't have to devote his time to such things as racing and testing. No doubt if he applied a little more time to his investments, maybe by dropping those turgid 'they're all crap - F1 needs me' pieces in The Sun, he could rise even higher up the rankings.

Jody Scheckter has also slipped, in 2003 he was 316th with a 100m fortune.

Ron Dennis is another one to have slipped down the rankings. In 2003 the McLaren boss was 180th with 175m, now he has less than half that. How does he manage? Another man who deserves our sympathy is Frank Williams, this year he has a paltry 76m, while in 2003 he had 145m. Have you looked down the back of the sofa Frank?

Another F1 boss who will be pulling his hair out is Eddie Jordan, who appears to have lost 10m in the last twelve months and slipped from 558th position.

Further down the rich list is the pitpass editor, who is currently ranked 55,897,297th with a personal fortune of 3.87.

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 18/04/2004
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