Bernie Ecclestone has backed controversial Russian president, Vladimir Putin, by admitting that he “completely” agrees with his views on homosexuality.
Putin has been roundly criticised by various diplomats and world leaders for his attitude on gay rights, which has seen his country introduce anti-homosexual laws and legislation across Russia. This has included the stopping of allegedly “gay” propaganda, which Putin didn’t want to infiltrate minors.
However, 83-year-old Ecclestone has now leapt to the defense of Putin’s policies, and he’s argued that critics have actually misrepresented the Russian president’s remarks.
“He hasn’t said he doesn’t agree (with homosexuality) just that he doesn’t want these things publicized to an audience under the age of 18,” Ecclestone told CNN. “I completely agree with those sentiments and if you took a world census you’d find 90% of the world agrees with it as well.”
Ecclestone added, “I’ve great admiration for him and his courage to say what he says. It may upset a few people but that’s how the world is. It’s how he sees (the world) and I think he’s completely right.”
The billionaire also praised Putin after the pair met in February 2013 to discuss the construction of Russia’s debut grand prix track in Sochi. The circuit will trace around the Olympic Park facilities, which is where the current Winter Olympics are taking place.
Ecclestone believes that Putin should get more praise for the work he has done, while also adding that Russia have done a “first-class job” in preparation for the track, which will stage the 16th round of this year’s upcoming Formula One championship. He also stated that they’ve done a “super job” hosting the Olympics too.
Meanwhile, Ecclestone has also been discussing who might replace him in his role as Formula One’s chief executive, and he’s admitted that he doesn’t have a clue how to evaluate possible candidates.
“I’ve no idea what attributes you’d need. It’s like saying we’d need someone to replace Frank Sinatra, you know? You never know what they’d need to have until they start the role,” he stated. “For someone to hold a high position in China or Japan you have to be older than I am, at least the good thing about that is you’re not going to have them for that long!”
Red Bull’s team principal, Christian Horner, and Justin King, the chief executive at Sainsbury’s, a British supermarket, are considered to be the favorites to replace Ecclestone when he finally steps down.