Bernie Ecclestone is back in the F1 paddock for first time since saying he would ‘take a bullet’ for Vladimir Putin as mogul, 92, is accompanied by his wife Fabiana in Sao Paulo ahead of Brazilian Grand Prix

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 Ecclestones own a coffee farm a 25-minute helicopter ride from Sao Paulo city, where the race will be staged. Ecclestone was due to visit the Austrian Grand Prix in July but stayed away amid the furore over his comments. The sport’s current owners, Liberty Media, who took over Ecclestone’s creation in 2017, are wary of his presence, but made no attempt to void his paddock pass. A spokesman for Formula One told Sportsmail: ‘We made clear earlier this year that Bernie Ecclestone’s previous comments were something we disagreed with.

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