F1

Ecclestone returns to F1 paddock for first time since saying he would ‘take a bullet’ for Putin

Bernie Ecclestone is back in the F1 paddock for the first time since saying he would “take a bullet” for Vladimir Putin as the 92-year-old tycoon is joined by his wife Fabiana in Sao Paulo ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

  • Bernie Ecclestone returned to a Formula One paddock on Thursday
  • Mogul, 92, was accompanied by his wife ahead of Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
  • Ecclestones owns a coffee farm 25 minutes by helicopter from the city of Sao Paulo

Bernie Ecclestone returned to a Formula One paddock on Thursday for the first time since saying he would “take a bullet” for Vladimir Putin.

The 92-year-old tycoon, who has since apologized for defending Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, accompanied his wife Fabiana ahead of Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix. She attends as FIA Vice President for South America.

The Ecclestones own a coffee farm 25 minutes by helicopter from the city of Sao Paulo, where the race will take place.

Bernie Ecclestone and his wife Fabiana in the F1 paddock in Sao Paulo on Thursday

Ecclestone was due to visit the Austrian Grand Prix in July but stayed away amid fury over his comments. His last race at the site was Abu Dhabi in 2019, before the closure.

The sport’s current owners, Liberty Media, which took over Ecclestone’s creation in 2017, are wary of his presence but did not attempt to nullify his paddock pass.

A Formula One spokesman told Sportsmail: “We made it clear earlier this year that Bernie Ecclestone’s earlier comments were something we did not agree with.

“He was part of F1 for many decades and helped build the sport, and he will attend the event with his wife, who represents the FIA.”

The 92-year-old has since apologized for defending the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The 92-year-old has since apologized for defending the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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