Bernie Ecclestone says he would ‘take bullet’ for Putin in bizarre GMB interview

Former F1 executive Bernie Ecclestone has called Vladimir Putin a “first class person” and claimed he “would take a bullet for him”.

In a bizarre interview with Good Morning Britainthe 91-year-old was asked whether he still stood by his friend Mr Putin.

To which, Mr Ecclestone replied: “I would still take a bullet for him. I’d rather it didn’t hurt but I would still take a bullet.”

Vladimir Putin and Bernie Ecclestone during the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia in September 2018

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When asked why he would take such drastic action, Mr Ecclestone said: “Because he’s a first class person, and what he’s doing is something that he believed was the right thing.”

“Unfortunately he’s like a lot of business people, certainly like me, we make mistakes from time to time. And when you’ve made a mistake you have to do your best to get out of it.”

Mr Ecclestone also made comments about the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky being a former comedian, saying: “It looks as though he wants to continue that profession.”

A spokesperson for F1 reacted to the interview, saying: “The comments made by Bernie Ecclestone are his personal views and are in very stark contrast to position of the modern values ​​of our sport.”

The former Formula 1 boss has previously defended the Russian president, telling Times Radio last month that he found Mr Putin “very straightforward and honorable.”

Bernie Ecclestone first said he would take a bullet for Putin in 2019

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Back in 2019, Mr Ecclestone told The Times that he felt Mr Putin should be “running Europe”.

“He’s a good guy,” he said. “He’s never done anything that isn’t doing good things for people. I would like him running Europe. We haven’t got anybody, so it couldn’t be any worse.”

He added: “I am not a supporter of democracy. You need a dictator. As a dictator, you say, ‘This is what I’m going to do’. In a democracy, it gets watered down.”

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