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Formula 1

09th Jul 2022

Bernie Ecclestone apologises for saying he would ‘take a bullet’ for Vladimir Putin

Callum Boyle

Ecclestone was criticised for praising Putin during an interview

Former Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has apologised for his controversial comments about Vladimir Putin, in which he claimed he would “take a bullet” for him.

Ecclestone was criticised after he described the Russian president as a “first class person” during an interview with Good Morning Britain and was set to miss this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix as a result.

‘I can understand people thinking I’m defending what he’s done in Ukraine’

But during an interview with Sky Sports News Ecclestone retracted his comments and clarified his views on the ongoing war in Ukraine, insisting he didn’t mean “to upset anybody.”

Bernie Ecclestone Putin

He said: “It would probably be good for me to get some things off my chest as well, things that have been bothering me about what I said and what people think I said.

“I think often people come out and say things or do things without really too much thinking.

“Probably I did the same. I can understand people thinking I’m defending what he’s done in Ukraine, which I don’t. I was brought up during the war, the last war, so I know what it’s like.”

‘They don’t deserve to have to suffer’

Ecclestone continued to express his sympathy to the Ukrainian people and says the ongoing war in the east of Europe is “not good for anybody.”

“So I feel sorry for the people in Ukraine having to suffer for something they haven’t done. They’ve done nothing wrong. They didn’t start anything. They want to get on with their lives.

“They want the kids to go to school and try and go to work and earn a living to keep the family going.

“So they don’t deserve to have to suffer. It’s not good for anybody. I can’t see anybody getting anything out of this and I think they should get together and get an agreement.

“And I’m sorry if anything I’ve said has upset anybody because it certainly wasn’t intended.”

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