Bernie Ecclestone wants Britain out of theEU
Bernie Ecclestone said Britain should leave the EU as soon as it can.Getty Images

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone is the latest high-profile figure to publicly support the campaign in favour of Britain leaving the European Union, adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin should be in charge of Europe.

Speaking at an event in London on Monday night (18 April), the volcanic Formula One supremo, who described himself as "100% an outer", revealed that he would probably not vote but stressed Britain should leave the 28-country bloc as soon as it can.

Speaking during a conversation with WPP boss Martin Sorell at Advertising Week Europe, Ecclestone argued Britain had gained nothing from being part of the EU and that immigrants had not made any meaningful contribution to the UK economy.

"I don't see any economic benefit," he said when asked whether Britain could potentially have something to lose by leaving the union. Never one to shy away from controversy, the 85-year-old then went on to add that Putin should be given the reins of the continent.

"Europe has become less important full stop," he said. "Vladimir Putin should be running Europe. He gets the job done."

The Russian Grand Prix was added as a round of the Formula One World Championship for the first time in 2014 since the championship was first launched in 1950.

However, the first Russian Grand Prix in a century attracted severe criticism as it went ahead despite the international sanctions imposed on Russia amid allegations Moscow was implicated in the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine in July 2014.