Putin unmatched in global politics: F1 supremo Ecclestone

Sochi, May 1 (IANS) Russian President Vladimir Putin is unparalleled in the present-day world of politicians and can possibly be compared with England’s former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Formula One’s chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has said.

Asked if Putin can be compared with any global politician, Ecclestone said on Saturday, “Nobody at the moment,” reports Tass.

“At the moment there is no one. I mean, if we talk about our days he is like another, in England for instance, Winston Churchill,” the 85-year-old Formula One supremo said.

“He (Putin) will go down in history as a great statesman,” Ecclestone added.

Asked whether he was following the global political developments, Ecclestone said “only as much as I have to”, adding that he was “totally pleased” that he never made a career of a politician himself.

Ecclestone is currently on a visit to the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi, which is hosting this weekend the Russian Grand Prix of the 2016 Formula One World Championship.

Sochi hosted Russia’s first time ever Formula One race in 2014 and then again in 2015. Both races were won by British pilot Lewis Hamilton from team Mercedes.

Both times when three-time World Champion Hamilton stepped on the podium in Sochi, he was personally awarded the winner’s trophy by Russian President Putin.

This year Russia is holding its Formula One racing Grand Prix for the first time in spring, namely on April 29-May 1, as compared with the two previous races held in autumn of 2014 and 2015 in Sochi.

A total of 21 races had been scheduled for the 2016 F1 Championship, with Sochi Grand Prix listed fourth on the calendar.

The contract to include Russia in the calendar of F1 racing for the 2014-2020 period was signed in 2010 in Sochi by Ecclestone and then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

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