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Former Formula 1 President Bernie Ecclestone, from Ibiza, has defended Vladimir Putin over the war in Ukraine, saying he would "take a bullet" for the Russian President, while also claiming Lewis Hamilton "should be happy" that Nelson Piquet apologised for his use of a racial slur.

Appearing on ITV's Good Morning Britain on Thursday morning, Ecclestone came out in defence of Putin, saying he "believed he was doing the right thing for Russia", and blamed Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy for failing to engage in dialogue with his counterpart.

Formula 1 quickly distanced itself from the remarks in a statement which read: "The comments made by Bernie Ecclestone are his personal views and are in very stark contrast to position of the modern values of our sport.

Ecclestone, 91, said of Putin on GMB: "Unfortunately he's like a lot of business people, certainly like me, that we make mistakes from time to time and when you make the mistake, you have to do the best you can to get out of it.

Eccelestone is believed to be on holiday on Ibiza.