Bernie Ecclestone announced he’d take a bullet for Vladimir Putin during a highly controversial interview on Good Morning Britain.
The former F1 star joined Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway virtually from Ibiza where he first excused Nelson Piquet’s racist slur with Lewis Hamilton before talking about the Russia/Ukraine war.
‘I’d still take a bullet for him,’ Bernie said of the Russian president after Kate asked if he still regarded him as a friend. ‘I’d rather it didn’t hurt, but if it did I’d still take a bullet for him.
‘He’s a first-class person,’ the 91-year-old businessman continued. ‘What he’s doing is something he believed is the right thing he was doing for Russia. Unfortunately, he’s like a lot of business people, like me, we make mistakes from time to time.’
Bernie then turned his attention to Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
‘I think if he’d thought about things, he would have made a big enough effort to speak to Mr Putin, who is a sensitive person and would have listened to him and probably would have done something about it,’ he continued.
At this point, a shocked Ben quickly interrupted to remind Bernie that Putin started the war in Ukraine which has led to the deaths of thousands of innocent people.
‘You can’t justify that, surely?’ I have asked.
‘It wasn’t intentional,’ Bernie replied. ‘Look at the number of times America has moved into different countries that has nothing to do with America… they like wars because they sell a lot of armor so it’s good for them.’
Viewers were completely outraged by Bernie’s comments and flooded social media in total disbelief.
‘One of the most shocking interviews I’ve ever heard!’ one blasted. ‘Cannot believe Bernie Ecclestone still supports Putin, deluded.’
Echoing a similar sentiment, another said: ‘What the hell did I just watch on @GMB i honestly feel physically sick at what Bernie Eccleston has just said about Putin and the war in Ukraine. And that he still regards Putin as a friend!’
‘Bernie Ecclestone was the most infuriating, embarrassing, cringeworthy interview I’ve seen,’ a third rage.
‘How was the fool allowed airtime? Send him to the Ukraine let him see what his mate is doing and let him attempt to talk to his friend Putin! Shameful man.’
This, surprisingly, isn’t the first time Bernie has voiced his support of Putin.
Earlier this year, he came out to the president’s defense during an interview on Times Radio.
‘As a person I found him [Putin] very straightforward and honorable,’ I shared. ‘He did exactly what he said he was going to do without any arguments.’
According to reports, Bernie and Putin’s friendship blossomed after the pair were introduced at the Russian Grand Prix in 2014.
In 2019, Putin told The Times that he’d like to see Putin ‘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.’
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.
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