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Wolff defends Hamilton over Ecclestone publicity 'grenade'

50   //    29 Apr 2018, 19:00 IST

Baku, Apr 29 (AFP) Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff laughed off Bernie Ecclestone's suggestion that Lewis Hamilton is "a bit tired" of Formula One as nothing more than a publicity "hand grenade".

While Hamilton declined to react to the former commercial supremo's comments, Wolff said he took them with a smile.

"All of us very much respect Bernie, but we have also learned to take the comments with a smile," said Wolff.

"Lewis is remarkably easy with these kinds of things - I think that he sees it pretty relaxed.

"Bernie comes in and throws a hand grenade and it's in the papers - it's great. It's Bernie's way - he got all of you here (into F1) and me, and he made the sport big.

"It's the off-track and on-track narrative and another thing to write about and talk about."

Hamilton is still motivated, said Wolff, who added that there had been an overreaction to Mercedes failure to win any of the three season-opening races.

"How the news is running these days, we are oscillating between exuberance and depression, and back again," he said.

"When things are not going in the right direction it's doom, and when you win two races in a row it's the utter Mercedes dominance destroying the sport.

"Maybe it's somewhere in the middle. We haven't collectively performed on the level we would want to in the last races.

"There were three races we could have won and we didn't, that's a fact. But I still see the fire and the desire to win very much burning in Lewis." Wolff was speaking ahead of sunday's Azerbaijan Grand prix, where Hamilton shared the front row with pole sitter Sebastian Vettel in a Ferrari

Press Trust of India (PTI) is a news agency in India
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