Money can’t buy me love…

Poor old Flavio Briatore. Not only is he having to deal with being thrown out of Formula 1 for extremely bad behaviour and the Italian authorities are blocking some of his (many) bank accounts and at one point even impounded his personal ship, but now there is a book on the market (if you can find a copy) that delves into his past – and very colourful it is, I am told, if it is all true. One supposes this to be the case given that the publishing house has gone ahead with the project.

I’ll not go into too much detail, because of nasty of things called libel laws that mean that anything one writes one has to prove 100 percent, but I will say that Briatore does not come out of the story in a very favourable light. Much of the story is already in the public domain, if you speak Italian and can find it, but authors Andrea Sceresini, Nicola Palma and Maria Elena Scandaliato have put all the stories together into one book, which explores the often mysterious past of the much-monogrammed FB. Suffice to say the story is explosive (in some parts quite literally) and involves not only leggy models, but all manner of different and varied Italian businessmen and politicians.

The word in Italy is that Briatore likes the book so much that he has tried to buy all the copies. Mr Briatore is believed to be holidaying in a private fortress in Malindi, Kenya (complete with turrets). He has no shortage of reading material.

Incidentally, the Daily Mail is reporting that Mr B Ecclestone is none too pleased with a new book about him by a writer called Tom Bower. Mr E spent a lot of time with Bower in the last couple of years but he seems to be pretty unhappy about the book. In my experience books about Bernie are usually rather disappointing.

37 thoughts on “Money can’t buy me love…

  1. Would be quite a read! Hopefully they will translate it someday. Love the line on the end of Your story that Mr. B likes the book so much, hè wants to buy All copies.

  2. You have never been one to sing FB’s praises Joe, so I assume none of this comes as any surprise to you. However, the early days before F1 must also hold plenty of intrigue.

  3. “The word in Italy is that Briatore likes the book so much that he has tried to buy all the copies.”

    Joe, you have such a lovely turn of phrase sometimes 🙂 Those libel lawyers had better look elsewhere.

  4. I’m surprised you didn’t put the word ‘allegedly’ in just to doubly secure.

    Will you be queuing at your local bookshop to get a signed copy Joe?


  5. Bernie has obviously arranged this to take attention away from his own biography, an extract of which was in the daily mail the other day. 😉

    Bernie had apparently withdrawn support for it because his family is mentioned, indeed from the extract printed in the mail, one family member in particular gets most of the limelight and Bernie gets our sympathy.

    But then the same facts can be written about in many different ways and people present at the time can remember different things said and different sequences of events, so whilst an autobiography from Bernie maybe better, we could never know what he had left out or “re-interpreted” in his memory. Not that I am getting at Bernie, the same is true of all autobiographies and it sometimes takes an outsider to reveal the truth, it it is ever to be found.

  6. Makes a change from the usual mindless puff-pieces hawked by the F1 fraternity. Is an English translation in the pipeline?

  7. Any news on the Max Mosley memoirs?

    I’ve read some extracts but the publication of the book seems to have gone quiet.

  8. “The word in Italy is that Briatore likes the book so much that he has tried to buy all the copies. ”

    One of your best. Hilarious.

    “In my experience books about Bernie are usually rather disappointing.”

    Were you not impressed with Terry Lovell’s “Bernie’s Game”, then? I haven’t read it (my copy is sitting in my pile of unread books…), but IIRC it was quite warmly received by F1 watchers.

  9. I don’t bother with biographies about Bernie, not yet. I don’t think an accurate biography of Bernie can emerge until he leaves this mortal coil.

    The UK’s terribly oppressive libel laws intimidate authors from writing the full and actual truth about Britain’s rich and powerful.

    Only when Bernie is gone will we likely see a tome that accurately depicts his deeds and misdeeds.

  10. Any chance Joe, of applying the Reuters’ habit of appending [UPDATED] when there’s more material? I questioned my earlier recollection there for a moment, when my eyes alit on the Bower book. (Thought that one might not escape. )

    I’ve separate thoughts for Flav, but adding Bernie into the mix simply made me immediately think just how incredibly dangerous have been the B school educated lot and blindfold theoreticians lately.

    Not just lately. I was reading a history of consulting groups and their pet theories which have washed over the biggest industries for 40 years. Pompously it’s called “The Lords Of Strategy” by a former HBR editor who nearly put me off by his, er, editing. (but it’s a useful book, eye opener in places where i think it didn’t mean to be) The fairly complete ideas didn’t seem to come from anyone but relative mavericks and outsiders. (most were familiar, because i, err, they were widely published for narrow interests) What struck, nay scared me, is how apparently Harvard BS permits or permitted zero deviance from teaching plans by lecturers, all had to be lock – step. Sounds worse than teaching to exams. Sure it’s not so silly elsewhere, but i think the problem stems from the fact that there’s not much you can say as for hard science in business study.

    [left that last para in to explain my personal contrast, instead of spouting disjointed opinion]

    I’d rather take my tycoons with interesting skeleton – in – the – cupboard history (especially if there’s a good book) than have to understand forests of legal – mathematical arcana to find out what happened to my pension, and why i might not get one now because i have to be bled to death by taxes to pay for others’ immodesty and sloth. At least when the “old school” tycoons go down, they usually hurt *real* bad.

    I think we’d be the poorer without these characters, if only we *learn* from them. That was subject of my original though this morning.


    – j

  11. What I find makes a mockery of the sport is that this guy who participated in one of the most sordid episodes in F1 history can still be allowed to manage drivers and parade around the pitlane as if nothing happened..??

  12. With Flav’s obvious credentials and plenty of spare time he could take over the top job in Italy! LdM is not controversial enough and far too clean-cut to succeed Berlusconi.

  13. I believe Tom Bower’s previous book was about Conrad Black. There has been some suggestion Mr Black might be contemplating legal action now that his spell as a guest of the US government may be coming to an end so Mr E would be in good company.

  14. Having read the Daily Mail’s version from Tom Bower’s book this morning I am now better informed as to F1’s relationship with the Labour Party.

    It seems to me F1 came second to Labour’s PR and spin machine, (yes an extremely rare event!) and one wonders what else the government of the day were up to; Pinochet, Iraq, Foot and Mouth…..

    Perhaps Tony Blair was trying to be too helpful to F1?

  15. I would have thought Flavio’s biography would have been in calendar format. Miss January, followed by Miss February….

  16. Toleman fan

    I own it, and have read it. It throws light on all, not just the Bolt.

    What’s it like?

    Well it’s quite hard work. When I finished it I emerged feeling like a troll who had been living underground with some of the less pleasant characters from Lord of the Rings.

  17. RobbieMeister

    Thanks for that. Every so often I pick it up, look at the nice shiny cover and implicit promise of insights into a world of scandal and vice (allegedly, and according to my febrile imagination), and… get a strangely heavy feeling that ends in me putting it back down again. Your comment has warned me what to expect if I get stuck in properly.

    I’m curious that Joe didn’t answer my question as to whether he was familiar with it or rated it, either yes or no. After popping in here for months if not years, it’s gradually dawning on me that some of the most interesting insights from this site come from noticing what Joe neglects to comment on. Except when it’s just chance. It’s all very well having an F1 Mole, but what I really want is to recruit a Joe Saward mole.

  18. ‘Before anybody wastes money on Mr. Bower’s Bernie book, enjoy a read of Mike Lawrence’s hilarious review of, what must be, the worst book ever written on the topic.

    Lawrence is spot on. I’ve got to the point I’m attacking the book with a pencil, editing the mistakes for my own amusement! There’s an embarrassing amount of factual errors.

    Considering the F1 folk acknowledged in the book’s introduction as being of help, one would have thought a manuscript would have found its way into somebodies hands. But it doesn’t appear so.

    Should anyone read this post – save your hard earned and don’t bother!

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