MOSCOW (AP) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has taken a Formula One race car for a spin, reaching speeds of almost 150 mph (240 kph).
Putin signed a deal last month with Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone to bring F1 racing to Russia starting in 2014.
His televised test drive helps raise the profile of the sport in Russia. It also fits with the action-man image he has cultivated over the years.
After receiving instructions, Putin climbed into the bright yellow race car and drove off by himself along an empty road near St. Petersburg.
When he finished Sunday's drive and was told his maximum speed, he smiled and said in English: "For the first time it's good."
Formula One cars reach speeds of well over 200 mph (300 kph).