London, United Kingdom (CNN)–Former Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone said he would “take a bullet” for Vladimir Putin, describing the Russian president as a “first class person”.
This happened when Ecclestone, a 91-year-old Briton, was asked on a British television program whether President Putin was still his friend: “I would still take a bullet for him,” he said.
Ecclestone, who was replaced as F1 CEO in 2017 after nearly four decades on the job, criticized Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s handling of the Russian invasion, saying: “The other person in Ukraine… his profession, I understand. , used to be a comedian – And I think he wants to continue this career.”
In a statement to CNN, Formula 1 said “Bernie Ecclestone’s comments express his personal opinion and are blatantly inconsistent with the position of the modern values of our sport.”