Bernie Ecclestone: What did Bernie Ecclestone say about Vladimir Putin on Good Morning Britain and why are people outraged?
FORMER Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone caused a stir on social media this morning after he saying he’d ‘take a bullet’ for Vladimir Putin.
Presenters Ben Shepherd and Kate Garraway interviewed the former F1 boss, who appeared via video link in sunny Ibiza, this morning (June 30).
21 photos from legendary nights out in 1999 in Gosport and Portsmouth
Teen Mom UK season 8: Is there a release date, will it be available to watch on MTV, and MTV Play, who is in the cast and is Hampshire's Mia Boardman returning to the show?
The Great British Bake Off 2022: Is there a release date, will it be available on Channel 4 and All 4, will Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith return and who are the hosts?
29 photos will remind you what a night out looked like in 2008 in Portsmouth
17 photos to take you back to trips to Knight and Lee in Southsea
But what did Bernie say to spark anger with the GMB viewers and what have they said on social media?
Here’s everything you need to know:
What did Bernie Ecclestone say?
Kate asked Bernie whether he was still friends with Russian president, Vladimir Putin, on this morning’s episode of Good Morning Britain.
Bernie replied to the host's question, stating: ‘I'd still take a bullet for him. Id' rather he didn't hurt, but I'd still take a bullet for him.’
When Kate questioned why he would take a bullet for the president, he added: ‘Because he's a first class person and what he's doing is something that he believed was the right thing he was doing for Russia.
‘Unfortunately, he's like a lot of business person - certainly like me - that we make mistakes from time-to-time. And when you've made a mistake, you have to do the best you can to get out of it and I think if it had been conducted properly…
‘I mean, the other person in Ukraine, I mean his profession I understand, he used to be a comedian and it seems he wants to continue that profession because I think if he had thought about things and made a big enough effort to speak to Mr Putin, who is a sensible person and would have listened to him and could have probably done something about it.’
Co-host Ben was taken aback by Bernie’s stance on the president and said: ‘Bernie, what we have are the actions of Putin and the war that he started in Ukraine has led to the death of thousands ok innocent Ukrainians, you can't justify that surely?’
To which Bernie replied: ‘It wasn't intentional.
‘Look at the times America has moved into different countries which is nothing to do with America.’
Kate then clarified: ‘So just to understand you clearly, you think that President Zelenskyy should have done more to avert this war and it could have been avoided by Zelenskyy's actions, not by a change in Putin's actions?’
‘Absolutely,’ Bernie replied.
‘It wasn't intentional to be a war, and I'm quite sure if Ukraine had wanted to get out of it properly, they could have done.’
Kate then questioned whether Bernie was concerned about associating himself with the president, to which Bernie replied: ‘Not at all, not at all.
‘He's a person that probably if he was in business he'd made a mistake and wish he hadn't had made it, but after things have happened, it's a bit too late.
‘It could have been stopped very, very easy.’
What have social media users said about the interview?
Bernie’s views on the Russian president have caused a stir online with GMB viewers.
One viewer tweeted: ‘Get him off the show RIGHT NOW #GMB.’
Another viewer added: ‘Somebody pull the plug on this Bernie Ecclestone interview. Embarrassing! #GMB.’
A third viewer shared their opinion on the interview, tweeting: ‘This interview with Bernie Ecclestone is car crash telly. Thoughts and prayers with this guys PR team this morning #GMB.’
The former F1 boss also compared a racial slur to being called ‘overweight or undersized’ when in conversation with the hosts about Nelson Piquet’s alleged racial slur against Lewis Hamilton.
Bernie said: ‘I’ve known him for a very long time. It’s not the sort of thing Nelson would say meaning something bad.
‘To him it’s nothing. Just part of conversation. He would never go out of his way to say anything bad.
‘I’m surprised Lewis hasn’t brushed it aside.’
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV and ITV Hub.