Motorhead

F1 chief ‘completely agrees’ with Putin over homosexuality

Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone has spoken of his “great admiration” for Vladimir Putin and how he “completely agrees” with the Russian president’s views regarding homosexuality.

Ecclestone met with Putin to conclude a deal for the Russian Grand Prix, which will see Winter Olympics host city Sochi stage a Formula 1 race for the very first time this October.

And in an interview with CNN Ecclestone stated that he felt Putin’s controversial policies on gay rights had been misrepresented.

In Russia it is illegal to promote what the state has termed gay "propaganda", with homosexuals in the country subject to widespread intimidation and repression.

"He hasn't said he doesn't agree [with homosexuality] just that he doesn't want these things publicised 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 agree with it as well.

"I've great admiration for him and his courage to say what he says," he continued.

"[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."

On Thursday Ecclestone was victorious in his multi-million pound high court case with Constantin Medien.

However, the judgement contained damning conclusions about the 83-year-old who has dominated the motor racing business for decades.

The judgment by the London High Court added to Ecclestone's legal woes ahead of his criminal trial, scheduled to start in Munich in April, over allegations of bribery dating back to 2005.

"I am afraid that I find it impossible to regard him (Ecclestone) as a reliable or truthful witness," Judge Guy Newey, who had heard oral evidence from Ecclestone during the civil trial, wrote in his judgment.

"The payments were a bribe. They were made because Mr Ecclestone had entered into a corrupt agreement with Dr Gribkowsky in May 2005 under which Dr Gribkowsky was to be rewarded for facilitating the sale of BLB's shares in the Formula One group to a buyer acceptable to Mr Ecclestone."