At 36, she is more than half his age and towers over his 5ft 3in frame. Certainly Bernie Ecclestone’s romance with Fabiana Flosi is unconventional.
And since the couple started dating in 2009, his daughters Tamara and Petra have reportedly struggled with the new arrangement.
Bernie was married to their mother, Slavica, for 25 years and both girls are fiercely loyal to the strong-willed Croatian.Indeed neither have commented on Bernie and Fabiana’s engagement, and, moments after the news broke, Tamara, 27, took to Twitter to post that she had just had a lovely meal with her mum.Perhaps the girls will come round when they see how happy their father is.Friends of the couple have spoken out in praise of Fabiana and the positive effect she has had on 81-year-old Bernie.“The point about Fabiana is that she is enchanting,” one told the Daily Mail. “She is very protective of him and he becomes calmer in her presence.“She does make him very happy… She fusses about what he eats, because she cares about his health and she nags him to take care of himself.”The down-to-earth Brazilian comes from middle class family, the daughter of a retired civil servant and housewife who live in San Paulo and have a holiday home in the country.
Their paths crossed when Fabiana – who has a degree in international trade – began working for Rohonyi Tamas, a Hungarian businessman who is a good friend of her husband-to-be’s.“Fabiana is a really friendly person. I have always loved her sense of humour and cheerful disposition. I’m sure she’s brought it to her relationship with Bernie,” Mr Tamas said of the happy couple.“I was with the two of them in London last week and it was clear they are in love.“She does what every housewife does, keeps the home in order, cooks and cleans. But she also is a big help in his work.“I think it’s very stupid for people to think she’s a gold-digger. Frankly, she's just not the type.”Certainly since the start of her romance with Bernie, Fabiana has established herself as a low-key companion.
In the early days, she would jump on Easyjet flights to visit him at a number of Formula 1 events without complaint, and never asked for a single gift.“She’s gorgeous, but forget everything else, she’s a nice person – she has a good nature,” Bernie said at the beginning of their relationship.And even now Fabiana remains surprisingly down-to-earth given Bernie’s lavish lifestyle.She acts as his chauffeur when the couple are in London, driving him around in a discreet black Lexus. And she likes to be the one to hand around sandwiches when they take his private jet.
According to the newspaper, she had one brief early marriage, followed by a long romance with a paediatrician, before meeting Bernie.
Having given up her career to be by Bernie’s side, it’s clear that Fabiana is very much in love with her fiancé.And he is no less devoted.Attending the Bahrain Grand Prix recently, the British billionaire was reportedly distracted by a race of a different kind – the London Marathon, which his brunette love was taking part in.As one friend told the Daily Mail: “I believe Bernie has now found the right woman, who’s the love of his life. It’s just taken him an awfully long time to do so.”