Formula 1 has distanced itself from the comments made by Bernie Ecclestone, former grand prix supremo, defending Vladimir Putin. It claims that the comments are in ‘very stark contrast’ to the values of the sport.
In an interviews with ITV show Good Morning Britain, Ecclestone expressed his support for the Russian president Vladimir Putin. He supported his action regarding his war with Ukraine.
The 91-year-old claimed to take a bullet for him. He said: “I would still take a bullet for him. I’d rather it didn’t hurt but I would still take a bullet.”
Ecclestone defended his comments and explained: “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, that we make mistakes from time to time. And when you make the mistake, you have to do the best you can to get out of it.”
Later, Ecclestone criticised Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukraine president, for failing his nation to avoid the war in first place.
“The other person in Ukraine, his profession I understand used to be a comedian. And I think it seems that he wants to continue that profession. Because I think if he’d thought about things he would definitely have made a big enough effort to speak to Mr Putin, who is a sensible person. He would have listened to him and could have probably done something about it.”
Ecclestone’s comments sparked criticism over social media. Putin is criticized for the war, which has cost thousands of lives.
Ecclestone no longer enjoys official F1 status as he moved on after Liberty Media took over the sport. Nonetheless, he is known for F1. Therefore, it prompted F1 to issue a clarification which has distanced itself.
The statement said: “The comments made by Bernie Ecclestone are his personal views and are in very stark contrast to position of the modern values of the sport.”
Ecclestone does make his appearance in controversial topics and has sparked fury from time to time. .
In 2020, Ecclestone disagreed with Lewis Hamilton’s push for anti racism in an interview with CNN. It stirred the community causing condemnations.
He said: “In lots of cases, black people are more racist than what white people are.”
Ecclestone remained outspoken on the matters. He also condemned the removal of statues of slave traders such as Edward Colston in Bristol during the protests.
F1 later released a statement saying: “At a time when unity is needed to tackle racism and inequality, we completely disagree with Bernie Ecclestone’s comments that have no place in Formula 1 or society.”