At the British Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton reacts to Bernie Ecclestone’s dig with a confident statement.
This weekend, the seven-time world champion will compete in his home race.
Bernie Ecclestone has retorted to Lewis Hamilton’s assertions that he hasn’t been driving at utmost effort this season. As he confronts heavy competition from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, Ecclestone claims the seven-time world champion has lost his battling spirit.
Hamilton is preparing for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone this weekend, where he hopes to win for the first time since early May.
In the 2021 Drivers’ Championship, the Brit is 32 points behind Verstappen, while Mercedes is 44 points behind Red Bull in the team standings.
So far this season, Hamilton has won only two races, in Italy and Spain, while Verstappen has won the past three and four of the last five.
Bernie Ecclestone, the former CEO of the Formula One Group, has questioned his work rate amid his difficulties.
The 90-year-old stated Hamilton isn’t the fighter he once was in the build-up to the British Grand Prix.
“There have been numerous moments this year where he could have done better, and he hasn’t,” he remarked.
“He’s never had any competition, the equipment has always been top-notch, and he’s never had to put in much work.
“But now he might be thinking that he might ease up a little.”
Hamilton responded by insisting that he is not the same driver he was when he first started, but rather a better one.
“I didn’t know about [Ecclestone’s] remarks until I got here. “To be honest, it’s been a fascinating week,” Hamilton said.
‘We had the football, which was fantastic for a little while before becoming rather difficult, despite the incredible enthusiastic support that followed.’
“I’ve been concentrating on the (Hamilton) Commission as well. No one is attempting to divert my attention away from the task at hand.
“I am not the same driver I was when I first started, but I am better, and I know myself better than I ever have.”
With seven victories, Hamilton has more British Grand Prix victories than any other driver in Formula One history.
He’s won the race six times in the last seven years, with Sebastian Vettel’s victory in 2018 being the lone exception.
When the drivers return to the track this weekend, Mercedes’ star will be optimistic about resuming his world title defense.