In an interview with The Guardian, he said: “I have spoken to lots of people about this and perhaps Lewis is not quite the fighter that he was. There are lots of occasions this year where he could have done better and he hasn’t. He hasn’t had any competition, the equipment has always been super, and he hasn’t really had to make the effort. But now maybe he is thinking that he better take it a bit easier.”
Ecclestone also criticised F1’s sprint qualifying format, which is set to debut at this weekend’s British Grand Prix.
“I don’t agree with it. The minute you start mucking around with these things, the history disappears and that is not a good thing. People would say somebody has 70 pole positions but that has gone now. There is no such thing as a pole position. I don’t think it is going to work and I don’t think it will continue. It is an unnecessary confusion for no reason.”
– Red Bull boss Christian Horner says his relationship with Toto Wolff is “absolutely fine” and he believes this is the first time the German has ever been under pressure during his time in F1.
“My relationship with Toto is absolutely fine,” Horner told BBC Radio 4. “I respect him for what he has achieved with Mercedes. This, of course, is a new situation for him.
“He has never been under pressure. He acquired a winning team so it is a different position for him to be under pressure and it is a question how you deal with pressure.”
– Four engine manufacturers have started testing carbon-neutral fuels ahead of a potential introduction in 2025. (Auto Moto Sport)
– Lando Norris has admitted that it was a bit ‘odd’ to hear Lewis Hamilton’s team radio message during the Austrian Grand Prix.
He told the Express: “It was cool hearing it from Lewis. More so than from any other driver in F1. It was in the middle of the race which I wouldn’t ever do. And it was a bit odd because you don’t expect to hear it.
“But it means even more that he said it after he had gone past and I was racing against him, rather than him dropping back because of any problems.”
– Alfa Romeo team boss Frederic Vasseur believes his team can be the surprise package in 2022. (Motorsport Week)