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F1 Malaysian Grand Prix: Hamilton '100% box office', says Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone praises "good guy" Lewis Hamilton for the way "he gets out on the street and supports and promotes F1".
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has hailed Lewis Hamilton as the “the best world champion we have had”, in terms of the way he puts himself out there and really helps put the sport in the limelight.

The 84-year-old also criticised four-time F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel for not doing more to engage with the fans.

His comments come ahead of this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, round two in the F1 2015 World Championship, and amid concerns about F1's declining audience.

“As a driver he [Hamilton] is absolutely outstanding, as good as there's ever been,” Ecclestone told the Press Association. “Apart from the fact he's talented, he's a good guy, he gets out on the street and supports and promotes Formula 1. He's 100 per cent box office.

“I told Sebastian [Vettel] 'you should be doing what he's doing' - the job of world champion. He was the champion [four times from 2010-2013] and got paid money for that, but these guys think their only job is racing a racing car. It goes a bit further than that.

“Look at [Sir] Jackie Stewart, who is still making quite a bit of money, and he hasn't been in a car for a few years.

“But it works because he's looked after his image and he still does a good job. Perhaps these guys think when they stop that'll be it.”

Ecclestone also admitted that the sport needs to do better, comparing it to an “old house” in need of a major revamp rather than repairs.

“The trouble is we've got an old house and we keep repairing it. It's not really the way to go,” he added.

“I'm a little bit frustrated, a little bit disappointed by all these problems. I'm not so much worried about it - we just need to do a lot better.”

Meanwhile, he praised Mercedes and said blaming the team's dominance over the last 18 months for F1's continuing problems was not correct.

“I've no complaints or problems about Mercedes doing what they are doing - the complaint I've got is the others are not doing the same,” he explained.

“All Mercedes have done is a good job - they've the best engine, best chassis, best team, two of the best drivers, so they are entitled to win.

“It's the others that need to get going. No good blaming the people that are doing a good job because they're doing a good job.”
by Rob Wilkins

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
23.11.2014- Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM
09.11.2014 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM
20.11.2014 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM
07.09.2014 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM

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March 28, 2015 10:47 AM

" pure box office " .... what a joke . the lowest ever attendance for qualifying day at sepang and less than 35,000 tickets sold for tomorrow . motogp had 121,000 on race day last year . bernie , go watch marquez for box office you sad , out of touch old man .

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