"I'd still take a bullet for him," 91-year-old Ecclestone said Thursday. "I'd rather it didn’t hurt, but if it does I'd still take a bullet, because he’s a first-class person. What he’s doing is something that he believed was the right thing he was doing for Russia."
Pretty interesting take, considering many want to see Putin dead.
Ecclestone also went after Volodymyr Zelensky ... claiming the Ukrainian president should have done more on his end to prevent the war.
"The other person in Ukraine," Ecclestone added. "His profession, I understand, he used to be a comedian. And I think he seems as if he wants to continue that profession."
"I think if he'd have thought about things, he would have definitely made the big enough effort to speak to Mr. Putin, who is a sensible person and would have listened to him and could have probably done something about it."
F1 distanced itself from his comments shortly after the interview ... saying, "The comments made by Bernie Ecclestone are his personal views and are in very stark contrast to the position of the modern values of our sport."
It's not the first time Bernie has found himself in hot water for his words -- he previously faced backlash for praising Adolf Hitler's ability to "get things done."