Bernie Ecclestone has made the startling claim that he would happily take a bullet for Russian president Vladimir Putin, suggesting that Putin should rule all of Europe as a dictator.
Putin is a divisive figure in global politics, amid allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 American presidential election and the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom. The Kremlin has long maintained its innocence in regard to all accusations.
However, the Russian premier and Ecclestone have enjoyed success together in business, especially bringing the Russian Grand Prix to Sochi in 2014.
And F1's former supremo, since retained in a chairman emeritus role by Liberty Media ("It just means that I don't do any work."), has backed Putin to the hilt.
"If someone had a machine gun and was prepared to shoot Putin, I would stand in front of him," Ecclestone told The Times in an interview focusing largely on his political views.
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.