Bernie Ecclestone has opened the door to a tirade of condemnation by decrying democracy and defending the world's most universal tyrants Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein.

Bernie Ecclestone has opened the door to a tirade of condemnation by decrying democracy and defending the world's most universal tyrants Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein.

In a highly controversial and bizarre interview with Britain's Times newspaper, the F1 chief executive said democracy "hasn't done a lot of good for many countries" and then went on to talk about some well-known despots.

"Terrible to say this I suppose, but apart from the fact that Hitler got taken away and persuaded to do things that I have no idea whether he wanted to do or not, he was in the way that he could command a lot of people able to get things done," the 78-year-old said.

Ecclestone also slammed Britain's decision to support the US in overthrowing Iraq's Hussein because "he was the only one who could control that country".

As for the Taliban in Afghanistan, "it was the same".

FIA president Max Mosley was enraged at the recent suggestion he is a dictator, but Ecclestone said being decisive is a positive trait.

"I like people who make up their minds. If you have to keep referring to your grandmother before you do anything I think that's dumb. I make decisions, sometimes wrong, sometimes right -- so long as you get more things right than wrong then that's ok," he said.

Ecclestone defended Mosley's fondness for sadomasochistic sex with prostitutes because "people can do what they like", and actually thinks the son of famous fascist Sir Oswald Mosley "would do a super job" as British prime minister.

He jokes that women wouldn't make good racing drivers because "they might take maternity leave", says people on unemployment benefits are "scroungers", and believes former British PM Tony Blair "probably told a lot of lies".

Ecclestone's Hitler remarks enraged numerous Jewish groups and spokesmen, while Conservative UK politician John Whittingdale remarked: "These are extraordinary views and I'm appalled that anybody could hold them."

 

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