Former Formula 1 head Bernie Ecclestone believes that Lewis Hamilton has just been play-acting with respect to the back pain problems he alluded to during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
‘Porpoising’ has been a problem that a lot of teams have had to contend with this season after FIA implemented new regulations ahead of the 2022 season.
With back problems amid porpoising potentially leading to long-term injuries for drivers, the FIA’s hand was forced into a sanction that made Mercedes’ life a lot easier.
It would help raise the level of the Mercedes W13 and thereby eliminate the effects of porpoising.
Cynics believed that this would also help Mercedes’ performance and allow the Silver Arrows to close the gap on the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari.
What did Ecclestone say?
Ecclestone, however, believes Hamilton made a lot more out of the matter than was necessary.
He asserted that Hamilton’s teammate George Russell should’ve technically found things a lot tougher given his height compared to Hamilton.
“All b*******,” Ecclestone said.
“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. 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.”
Ecclestone, 91, further said that Hamilton’s poor form this season might even lead to Toto Wolff sacking him.
What caught more eyes, however, was Ecclestone’s stance regarding Vladimir Putin amidst Russia’s war with Ukraine.
“I’d still take a bullet for him,” he said.
“I’d rather it didn’t hurt but even if it does, I’d still take a bullet because he’s a first-class person and what he’s doing is something he believed was the right thing he was doing for Russia.
“Unfortunately, he’s like a lot of businesspeople – certainly like me – in that we make mistakes from time to time.
“And when you’ve made a mistake, you have to do the best you can to get out of it, and I think if it had been conducted properly.”
Hamilton issues response
In response, Hamilton said that the sport needs to shut the voice of the likes of Sir Jackie Stewart, Nelson Piquet and Ecclestone.
“I don’t know why we are continuing to give these older voices a platform,” he said.
“They’re speaking upon our sport and we’re looking to go somewhere completely different.
“If we’re looking to grow in the US, other countries, South Africa, we need to look to the future and give the younger people a platform, who are more representative of today’s time.
“It’s not just about one individual, it’s not about the one use of that term, it’s the bigger picture.”