Bernie Ecclestone is synonymous with controversy. This time, the former boss of Formula 1 is in the spotlight after defending the decision of Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, to invade Ukraine.
Guest on the program Good Morning Britainda ITVwhere the millionaire appeared in a video call from Ibiza (Spain), to comment on the recent controversy after statements considered to be prejudiced by former driver Nelson Piquet towards driver Lewis Hamilton (see associated news), presenter Kate Garraway was stunned by the response of Ecclestone, when asked if he had changed his mind after showing support for Putin in 2019.
“I still got shot for him. [Putin], preferably painless, but still took. He’s a first class person, and what he’s doing is something he believes is the right thing to do,” said Ecclestone, 91.
The British tycoon targeted Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, stressing that the war could have been avoided: “I think if this had been conducted decently… I mean, the other person in Ukraine [Zelensky]… His profession, which I know was a comedian, seems to continue. Because if I had thought things through, I would definitely have made a greater effort to talk to Mr Putin, who is a reasonable person and would listen to what he had to say, probably acting accordingly.”
Incredulous, Ben Shephard, the show’s other presenter, interrupted Ecclestone to remind him that it was Putin who started the war in Ukraine, which has already led to the deaths of thousands of people. “You can’t justify it, can you? It wasn’t intentional. Look at the number of times America has taken sides with different countries that have nothing to do with America… they like wars because they sell a lot of weapons, that’s good for them,” replied Ecclestone.
Viewers were completely outraged by Ecclestone’s statements and flooded social media with criticism.