"I don’t think people give him an instruction book and start telling him what to do. He’s in a position where he can speak out and wake a few people up, and I’m pleased he’s using it.
"He has also said he feels the sport is a bit too safe now, which I agree with. I don’t want anybody to get hurt, but some of that knife-edge excitement has gone from it."
Four-time champion Vettel found himself overshadowed last season by Charles Leclerc, and there are now questions marks as to whether he will remain with the Scuderia beyond the expiry of his current contract at the end of the year.
"We’ve seen it before," added Ecclestone. "All of a sudden the kid from nowhere who nobody has heard of [Leclerc] comes along and performs, and everyone fell in love with him at Ferrari.
"I’m close to Sebastian, but we don’t talk about things like this. But I’m guessing he feels a little bit that he has been put on the back-burner."
As to whether he should stay with Ferrari, Ecclestone remarked: "Well, he’s not in an easy position.
"His contract runs out at the end of this year. If this year he could show his capabilities, he should stay with Ferrari. If not, he was very happy at Red Bull, because they loved him…"
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