"In a lot of ways, 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.
In the end he got lost, so he wasn't a very good dictator because either he had all these things and knew what was going on and insisted, or he just went along with it . . . so either way he wasn't a dictator." He also rounded on democracy, claiming that "it hasn't done a lot of good for many countries - including this one [Britain]".
Ecclestone later praised the concept of a government based on tyranny.
Politicians are too worried about elections," he said. "We did a terrible thing when we supported the idea of getting rid of Saddam Hussein. He was the only one who could control that country. It was the same [with the Taleban]. We move into countries and we have no idea of the culture. The Americans probably thought Bosnia was a town in Miami. There are people starving in Africa and we sit back and do nothing but we get involved in things we should leave alone."
Ecclestone, who owns F1's commercial rights, is no stranger to controversial remarks. He once said women should dress in white "like all other domestic appliances." In The Times interview, Ecclestone claimed that had been a joke, adding "I would love to have a good lady race driver and preferably black and Jewish too, but they might take maternity leave."