Former F1 chief Ecclestone tells Hamilton to stay at Mercedes: It wouldn't work at Ferrari
- Bernie Ecclestone discussed the future of Mercedes star Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton.
Formula One champion and Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton should not join Ferrari, according to former chief Bernie Ecclestone.
Hamilton is in the final year of his Mercedes deal and the six-time F1 world champion continues to be linked with a move to rivals Ferrari.
The 35-year-old driver – whose title defence has been put on hold after the season-opening Australian Grand Prix was cancelled due to coronavirus – is in no hurry to hold negotiations, while Mercedes are relaxed amid the speculation.
Ex-F1 supremo Ecclestone does not believe Hamilton should swap Mercedes for Ferrari at the end of the 2020 season.
Due to the continued global spread of COVID-19 and after ongoing discussions with the FIA, and race organisers a decision has been taken by all parties to postpone the Bahrain Grand Prix and the Vietnam Grand Prix due to take place on March 20-22 and April 3-5 respectively#F1 pic.twitter.com/btpFLckwtO— Formula 1 (@F1) March 13, 2020
"If I were Lewis I would stay at Mercedes," Ecclestone, 89, told the Daily Mail.
"He is comfortable there. He is in charge. He's got the guy who turns the lights on and off supporting him [team principal Toto Wolff].
"It wouldn't work at Ferrari for him. They are Italians. He would have to really learn the language so he'd know what they were saying behind his back, for a start.
"The problem with all the Italians, they don't want a fight, don't want an argument with anyone. Instead of saying to someone who is doing a bad job, 'Sort yourself out or I'll sort you out — please yourself, but I want results,' they say, 'Let's have dinner so we can talk about it. Be friends'.
"If I were a team boss I'd sign Max [Verstappen from Red Bull]. He's quick and easy to deal with. If I had Lewis I'd just tell him what time the next race starts and say be there for then. Apart from that he could do whatever he wants.
"I'd cut his pay and let him do his own sponsorship, anything. Mercedes try to rein him in a bit. I'd give him total freedom."
Published 14 Mar 2020, 09:10 IST