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.
Hamilton should sell his seat to Mercedes
“Lewis might sell his position to Toto [Wolff, Mercedes’ team principal],” he said 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 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.
“All b*******,” Ecclestone said of the way Hamilton struggled to exit his car in Baku. “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 went on. “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,” the man who ran F1 for over 40 years joked.