Russian PM Putin takes an F1 car for a spin


Living dangerously for UK politicians tends to mean fiddling with their expenses or their secretaries. They certainly lag behind the likes of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin who took a Renault Formula One car out for a spin this weekend.

The Russian politician agreed a deal with F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone to bring the multi-million pound sport to Russia from 2014, presumably finishing the negotiations with a cheeky request for a drive in one of the cars.

After receiving instructions from the Renault technicians, Putin, wearing a yellow racing suit to match the car, jumped in and took off down an empty road near St Petersburg.

He spun the car once, but managed to hit a personal top speed of 150mph – fast but still some way short of the Renault's 200mph capability.

"For a first time, it was good," declared Putin after his run.

The Russian Grands Prix will be held near the Black Sea resort of Sochi, which is also hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics.