F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has issued an apology after he 'praised' Adolf Hitler for his ability to 'get things done'.

Ecclestone's comments, made in an interview with British broadsheet newspaper, The Times and published on Sunday, drew widespread condemnation and the 78-year-old has now admitted he was 'fool to talk about admiring' the Nazis leader given the atrocities' he committed.

"First, an apology," he told The Times today. "I remarked in an interview with this newspaper that Hitler was able to get things done. I have no complaints about the quote - it is what I said - but it was not what I meant to say.

"Not surprisingly it has upset a number of people in the Jewish community, in Germany and elsewhere. Those who don't know me think I support Hitler's atrocities; those who do know me have told me how unwise I was to articulate my points so badly that it should have been so widely misunderstood.

"In a sense it illustrates the point I was really trying to make. Politicians these days struggle to get things done. They are trying to put themselves in a position where they can win an election, so they constantly have to compromise, rather than saying what they really believe. As a result, when faced with a serious financial crisis, things aren't being done that should be done.

"In a time of 24-hour news politicians constantly have to answer questions. Their remarks get picked up by their opponents, who can steal their ideas or use their words to pick an argument. Why should someone who has to make decisions all the time constantly have to talk about it? If you were running a business, you wouldn't have to put up with that. You can put up strong barriers.

"Politicians don't have that luxury. If they make a mistake, everyone knows they did something stupid. I'm in the same position now.

"During the 1930s Germany was facing an economic crisis but Hitler was able to rebuild the economy, building the autobahns and German industry. That was all I meant when I referred to him getting things done.

"I'm an admirer of good leadership, of politicians who stand by their convictions and tell the voters the truth. I am not an admirer of dictators, who rule by terror."

Ecclestone's apology in The Times echoes other comments he has made since and in a report in The Jewish Chronicle he added he was an 'idiot' to say what he did.

"I never supported Hitler, I don't think there's anybody in this world who could support Hitler and the atrocities they carried out," Mr E continued.

"What I regret is people who have taken this the wrong way and have been offended, I'm really, really sad about because I have done an awful for Jewish community throughout, charities and whatever.

"Most of my mates are Jewish people, I spoke to two or three very prominent people today, Jewish people. One of them said to me, 'Bernie, you're more Jewish than all of my friends'."