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Lewis Hamilton "bigger than F1" - Ecclestone

Lewis Hamilton "bigger than F1" - Ecclestone

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Lewis Hamilton "bigger than F1" - Ecclestone

Lewis Hamilton "bigger than F1" - Ecclestone

Former Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has again courted controversy by claiming Lewis Hamilton is "bigger than F1".

The 89-year-old Ecclestone has often been one to speak his mind, and his latest remark regarding the six-time world champion will surely spark debate.

Ecclestone certainly appreciates what Hamilton has done for F1 over the years by promoting himself and, in turn, the sport.

"He’s different," Ecclestone said of Hamilton in an interview with Autocar. "That’s great.

"He’s a first-class guy. He’s actually bigger than F1. Nothing wrong with launching clothes lines or having rappers as friends.

"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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Sun 05 Jul

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