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

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Watch: Bernie Ecclestone says he would still 'take a bullet' for 'first-class' Vladimir Putin

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 Britain, the 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 (Getty Images)
Vladimir Putin and Bernie Ecclestone during the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia in September 2018 (Getty Images)

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 honourable.”

Bernie Ecclestone first said he would take a bullet for Putin in 2019 (Getty Images)
Bernie Ecclestone first said he would take a bullet for Putin in 2019 (Getty Images)

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 democracry. 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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