"The Official Formula One Opus BERNIE Edition" has $1 million reserve price
The 852-page book weighs 37 kilograms
Three bids already made for the book according to Opus Media
Winner will also receive four all-access season passes for each grand prix
There are books – and then there are books. And this one doesn’t come cheap.
So if you love Formula One and want to spend a year following the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso across the world, this is the only book for you – if you have a spare million dollars.
Weighing 37 kilograms, this 852-page book will come with the opportunity for its owner to hold four passes to every single day of each grand prix weekend during the 2014 season, access into the team paddocks and even tea with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
Up for auction in December, with three bids already secured, “The Official Formula One Opus BERNIE Edition” also comes with a signature sheet adorned with the original autographs of the 22 F1 world champions.
“This book gives you the opportunity to experience F1 like never before,” Opus Media chief executive officer Karl Fowler told CNN.
“You can go to every single race across the world, take in all three days, go into the paddocks, have a drink and see the drivers.
“You’ll get to spend time with Mr Ecclestone and have a sporting experience you couldn’t get anywhere else.”
A former banker, Fowler set up Opus Media in 2007 and has since crafted a number of other books which have focused on the likes of Ferrari, Michael Jackson, NFL Superbowl and Manchester United.
But the Bernie – arriving in its carbon-fiber case, gleaming like a piece of treasure waiting to be plundered – takes the concept to an altogether new level.
“We’ve already had three serious bids for the book,” Fowler revealed.
“We always thought that the bids would come from two areas – wealthy individuals who are looking to have some fun and great experiences or from corporate businesses.
“We’ve had one bid from a banking entity, one from a hedge fund and another from a Russian investment company.
“For a business, this is a great investment, especially if you have offices all over the world. You could take three different clients each day for three days on each weekend and you can do that 20 times a year.
“That’s great for networking and business. It’s a huge opportunity.”
Whoever finally ends up winning the auction will also be able to sell individual races with Fowler estimating that the lure of the Monaco Grand Prix could go for as much as $100,000.
The book has been nearly six years in the making with Fowler working with Ecclestone to produce arguably the most definitive look at F1.
Beginning at the start of the F1 World Driver’s Championship in 1950, the book charts the course of the sport, taking in those who are synonymous with the roaring engines of the sport.
It takes in each and every circuit in detail, gives an insight into the colorful characters who entertained fans such as James Hunt and Juan Manuel Fangio before moving on to Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and current four-time world champion Vettel.
Chasing the 22 different signatures of F1 champions didn’t prove easy. Fowler had two men flying across the world for two years to collect every autograph.
They flew to Brazil to obtain Nelson Piquet’s signature, secured Jack Brabham’s in Australia and managed to catch Kimi Raikkonen in Finland.
As well as the one-off edition, there are also 1500 copies of the silk-covered $3,200 “classic” which will be signed by Ecclestone, with the $32,000 “champions” edition accompanied by autographs of every single F1 world champion.
Perhaps Ecclestone’s involvement in the book has proved a welcome distraction from his ongoing legal problems.
He has denied making corrupt payments to a German banker to facilitate the sale F1, testifying for four days in London’s High Court before heading to this weekend’s U.S. Grand Prix in Texas.
“Working with Mr Ecclestone is a combination of him being highly demanding, fun and challenging,” added Fowler.
“You have to be on the ball because he always is. His attention to detail is phenomenal.
“He really bought into what we were trying to do which was present the sport on scale where all the iconic images are seen how they were meant to be seen.
“In 99.9% of the books, pictures have been heavily cropped. We want to show them in the way the photographer wanted them to be shown.”