F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone slammed after claiming 'I'd take a bullet for Vladimir Putin' in bizarre GMB interview | The Sun

BERNIE Ecclestone has been slammed for claiming he'd "take a bullet" for "first class and sensible person" Vladimir Putin.

The veteran former Formula 1 chief launched an impassioned rant in defence of the Russian president on Good Morning Britain today.

Wading into Russia's war on Ukraine, Ecclestone claimed his long-term pal is a "first class person" adding the deaths of Ukrainians were not "intentional".

Asked whether he still regards Putin as a friend, the 91-year-old bizarrely said: "I'd still take a bullet for Vladimir Putin. He's a first class person.

"Unfortunately he is like a lot of business people, we make mistakes from time to time.

"When you make a mistake you have to do your best to get out of it.

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"[The deaths of Ukrainians] wasn't intentional. Look at Americans moving into countries that have nothing to do with America."

Appearing against a sunny backdrop in Ibiza, he then added: "It wasn't intentional to be a war. I'm quite sure if Ukraine wanted to get out of it properly then they could have done."

Hosts Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard were stunned into silence by the controversial comments.

Shocked Kate eventually said: "Crikey."

A number of Russian athletes have been affected since their country's illegal invasion of Ukraine in February – including F1's Nikita Mazepin.

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The driver was ditched by Haas following the outbreak of war, having finished dead last in the driver standings last season.


Ecclestone is uncomfortable with the situation, which has also seen Russian and Belarusians banned from Wimbledon, adding: "I think it's wrong to stop Russian athletes, including drivers from taking part in their sport.

"They didn't get involved in this in the first place so they shouldn't be punished."

Ecclestone went on to claim that the situation "absolutely" could have been avoided if Ukraine had "spoken with Putin".

Asked if he was concerned about a potential backlash after aligning himself with Putin, he added: "Not at all. He's a person that's in business and made a mistake and wished he hadn't made it.

"After things have happened it's a bit too late. It could have been stopped very, very easy.

Bernie Ecclestone is a moron

"Our friend in Ukraine [President Zelenksy] could have stopped it easier couldn't he. The best thing to have done would have spoken with Putin."

Ecclestone has been slated online for his comments.

Former England striker Chris Sutton wrote: "Bernie Ecclestone is a moron."

While one viewer commented: "Bernie Ecclestone embarrassing himself live on tele."

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Another tweeted: "What an absolute shambles this is from Bernie Ecclestone. Flaming heck. What a small minded idiot."

A further viewer fumed: "Bernie Ecclestone was the most infuriating, embarrassing, cringeworthy interview I’ve seen. How was the fool allowed airtime?"

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