After seeing Vladimir Putin flying jet planes, shooting Siberian tigers, fishing topless, riding Harley Davidsons and diving to the depths of Lake Baikal, you would think that his PR men might have a bit trouble thinking up new ideas to boost his masculine profile.
No chance – not when there are Formula 1 racing cars out there, just begging for world leaders to slide into the cockpit and drive them at high speed…
The Putin Formula 1 drive reportedly saw the Russian leader putting the pedal to the metal and hitting 150 miles per hour. Admittedly, judging by the short video above, he did it all on the straight (I can’t believe that the handbrake turn towards the end was Putin’s!), but it’s a damn sight more than I’ve ever done in an F1 car, so I can’t criticize.
Interestingly, the video also contains one of the very few recorded instances of Putin speaking English – the only other one I’m aware of is Putin’s English speech to the Olympic Committee in 2007, when Russia were bidding to host the Sochi Winter Olympics. But on this video, Putin receives instruction on how to drive his Formula 1 car entirely in English and, although he doesn’t say much, it’s clear he has a very good grasp of the language.