F1’s governing body has distanced itself from its former head after Bernie Ecclestone made racist remarks during an interview on ITV’s Good Morning Britain.
In a statement, F1 said that “the comments made by Bernie Ecclestone are his personal views and are in very stark contrast to the position of the modern values of our sport”.
Ecclestone was the chief executive of F1 for many years until the American group Liberty Media bought it in 2017.
The 91-year-old said last week that he would “take a bullet” for Russian president Vladimir Putin. This is not the first time that he has made remarks about Putin that got the media’s attention. In 2016, Ecclestone was heavily criticised after he said Putin “should run Europe”.
During his reign as the head of F1, Russia was granted a Grand Prix. In 2014, the Russian Grand Prix in the Black Sea resort of Sochi was held for the first time. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, this year’s race has been cancelled and has been taken off the racing calendar indefinitely.
Although Ecclestone has admitted to having not spoken to the Russian president since his country invaded Ukraine, he said that he’s “absolutely sure he now wishes he didn’t start this whole business, but it didn’t start as a war”.
He added that “what Putin is doing is something he believes is the right thing he’s doing for Russia”.
Image credit: Eurosport