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"Lewis doesn't seem bothered about losing," says Ecclestone

NEWS STORY
27/06/2022

Believing that Lewis Hamilton may quit at season end, former F1 boss, Bernie Ecclestone feels the seven-time champion is taking losing too easy this season.

While no longer at the wheel of the sport, Ecclestone remains in constant touch with all its big players, and this, combined with five decades of running F1 give him unique insight which he is happy to share courtesy of the sort of soundbites that can be found here.

Never afraid to bite the bullet, and equally keen to stir the sh** with the best of them, Ecclestone has been pondering what the future might hold for Lewis Hamilton.

Struggling with a difficult car and largely out-performed by his new teammate, Ecclestone fears that though he is contracted for another year with Mercedes, Hamilton might already be pondering a way out.

"Lewis might sell his position to Toto," opines the 91-year-old in an interview with the Daily Mail.

"'This is how much I am getting, I'll step down and give me half of what I would get'," he surmises. "Toto can go and do one of his magic deals, offer someone less money and keep 20m.

"Nobody needs to tell Toto this because he has already thought of it," adds Ecclestone. "Lewis would probably stop under those circumstances.

Of teammate George Russell, Ecclestone admits: "I didn't think he was that good but he has done an excellent job. I'm surprised. Or is it a case of Lewis doing a bad job? A bit of both.

"Toto is getting a bit fed up with Lewis," he adds. "I don't think he's trying, do you? Let's put it another way, Lewis doesn't seem bothered about losing. It's not like him. He has a competitive nature but he's taking losing a bit easy for my liking.

"I don't think he is actively helping George. I don't think he's doing anything. I don't think he cares too much. He's not prepared to put the effort into winning that he did."

Referring to Hamilton's issues in Baku, when the Mercedes driver struggled to extract himself from his car following the pounding his back had taken during the race, Ecclestone compared him to another championship winning Briton.

"All b*******,'" he says. "George is taller and if it was going to happen to anyone it would have happened to him.

"There was a bit of Nigel Mansell about it," he adds. "At least with Nigel, he would get out of the car and rub his left leg as if he had broken it. Next moment, it would be his right leg."

Nonetheless, Ecclestone is adamant that Hamilton is one of those characters the sport needs, whilst appearing to side with the Briton amidst the ongoing row over jewellery.

"Because of the ways Lewis acts, he is a character, whether you like it or not," he says. "He is black, which is good and he is different from all the other drivers in many ways, which is also good.

"We need characters," he continues. "If he wants something in his nose, that's fine by me. Whatever he wants. He wears all these bloody clothes. It's wonderful.

"He is doing it for him, not for Formula One. The danger is that people speak more about Lewis than Formula One. You write about him. But I feel these are the rules and that has to be that. End of story. Because if I were a driver and went over the white lines and got a time penalty, I'd say; 'You sort out this guy properly according to the rules and then you can sort me out, otherwise, shut your mouth. They are rules, not maybes.

"I'd say if you can't take them out, no problem," he says referring to Hamilton's nose and ear studs, "you're just not driving a car with them in, that's all.

"When the drivers used to say to me, 'We can't race in this weather', I'd say, 'OK, you don't have to'. I remember Alain Prost coming up to me saying it was dangerous and somebody would get killed. I said, 'Well, we're starting at 2pm as usual, but you don't need to race if you don't want to'.

"I also remember Michele Alboreto saying the same, that someone would get killed and I told him, 'Well, you might win for a change'. It's simple. Nobody takes these things head on as they are."

Referring to the technical directive sent out prior to the Canadian Grand Prix, like many, Ecclestone questions the appointment of Wolff's former advisor, Shaila-Ann Rao as (FIA president) Mohammed Ben Sulayem's chief of staff.

"It's bloody dangerous," admits Ecclestone. "Toto started all this nonsense about the cars needing to change. She told them about the new directive, obviously. She worked with Toto for two or three years.

"I wanted to get Luca di Montezemolo as chairman of the company when I was running things. But the teams went mad because he was Ferrari's man. It was seen as a conflict of interest, so how can she do this job?"

Pushing 92 and as controversial as ever.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Spindoctor, 01/07/2022 9:28

"Having sorted out Lewis' failing career Bernie has dived into global politics. In an interview with GMB he said he'd "take a bullet" for Putin, who as a "Businessman"(!) "made a mistake" starting the war. According to Bernie it was all the Ukrainians' fatult..."

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2. Posted by didaho, 28/06/2022 11:40

"Well I guess he should know, he's been cruising himself for the last twenty years less equipped than the rest of the field."

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3. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 28/06/2022 9:31

"@Max Noble, I agree with your point about missing the Max M. and Bernie Show, though I miss Ron Dennis even more some days."

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4. Posted by Max Noble, 28/06/2022 1:54

"More sound-bite quotes, chuckles, and shakes of the head in a few minutes of Bernie talk, than we get in a year from Liberty management. Sweet! He also knows his F1 history (having had a hand in writing most of it…) which cannot be said of many within Liberty… I miss the Max M. And Bernie show…
"

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5. Posted by Spindoctor, 27/06/2022 20:25

"Curmudgeonly old geezer isn’t he? He’s clearly been dropping off a lot lately (it happens to senile old blokes) & missed Hamilton’s various tirades none of which struck me as suggesting he doesn’t care.
While we may indeed be witnessing the end of Hamilton’s reign it’s also possible that reports of his demise are exaggerated….

Oh, and it won’t hurt the ratings either"

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6. Posted by LiamIII, 27/06/2022 17:39

"Wait, what? Lewis is black?

"Because of the ways Lewis acts, he is a character, whether you like it or not," he says. "He is black, which is good and he is different from all the other drivers in many ways, which is also good.

I thought we have moved beyond race? Apparently only Lewis and Bernie can talk about someone's race and get away with it. Lewis was a good kid. "

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7. Posted by kenji, 27/06/2022 15:11

"Bernie still has his contacts and when he speaks one needs to listen carefully. He didn't make his pile by mistake. "

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8. Posted by Kristofforo, 27/06/2022 14:29

"Bernie should be quiet I think. Got to the beach, enjoy his millions etc! It is tedious to hear from him. "

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9. Posted by Roli, 27/06/2022 14:28

"Oh Bernie, I wish you were back! "

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10. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 27/06/2022 13:28

"Bernie is still the smartest guy in the business."

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