That was his character and, even at 86, he was still motivated, even if he probably should have gone sooner. He had no real desire to change. He wanted to go on doing deals, as he has always done.
It was not about the money – that was just the way of keeping score. It was about getting someone to agree to what he wanted. It was all about winning, and Ecclestone always needed to win.
The only question to him was the scale of the victory. With F1, he had something people wanted, so he was able to squeeze them, to make them pay more than they were willing to pay. Call it greed if you like, but really it was about power.
He was funny, charming and ruthless. Utterly ruthless. He was a car dealer to the core, a genius at spotting people’s weaknesses and using them to his advantage. He understood greed and ambition and recognised the dangerous people and made them his friends, although he has few real friends. He could wrap naïve journalists around his little finger by tickling their ego, making them feel that he was their best buddy, but he was a user. For a journalist, he always had a headline, but a lot of them were simply not true. He was just playing, keeping F1 in the newspapers, being outrageous for the sake of it. Sometimes he said things simply to see if people would challenge him.