Perhaps in a bid to remain relevant as Formula 1 moves on without him, Bernie Ecclestone claimed Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is getting a bit fed up with his star driver and seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton.
Lewis Hamilton hasn’t been a happy driver in 2022, with his W13 being a far cry from the team’s previous creations with which he dominated the F1 since 2014, racking up seven Drivers’ Crowns.
Adding to Hamilton’s troubles is a fast a motivated teammate in the form of George Russell who has been outperforming him so far this season.
Hamilton’s contract with Mercedes runs until the end of the 2023 season, with a salary north of £ 40-Million a year, which makes the decision to quit the sport quite expensive.
But Ecclestone – always willing to broker a decent deal – suggested a way out for the Mercedes ace without losing too much money in the process.
“‘This is how much I am getting, I’ll step down and give me half of what I would get’,” he suggested.
“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. Lewis would probably stop under those circumstances,” Ecclestone believes.
The former Formula 1 supremo went on criticizing Hamilton’s fashion choices, saying: “I don’t know what he is doing dressing up in all those funny clothes. Has he a deal to it? Is it to get noticed? Maybe that’s it.”
Shifting to the other side of the Mercedes garage, Ecclestone praised Russell saying: “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,” the 92-year-old Briton mused.
Hamilton doesn’t seem to be bothered by losing
“Toto is getting a bit fed up with Lewis. 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,” Ecclestone added. “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.