Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone appears to suggest Lewis Hamilton doesn’t ‘deserve’ his knighthood… and claims Mercedes chief Toto Wolff deserves an OSCAR for his ‘acting’ in his furious response to Max Verstappen’s title win
- Bernie Ecclestone suggested Lewis Hamilton doesn’t ‘deserve’ his knighthood
- He said ‘only people who have done something for the country’ should get one
- Hamilton eclipsed Michael Schumacher’s all-time F1 victory tally back in 2020
- The Mercedes driver also emulated the German by winning a seventh world title
- Ecclestone says Toto Wolff deserves an Oscar for his angry reaction in Abu Dhabi
Former F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone has appeared to suggest Lewis Hamilton doesn’t ‘deserve’ the knighthood he received earlier this week.
Hamilton was honoured by the Prince of Wales at a Windsor Castle investiture ceremony on Wednesday in recognition of a glittering career in motorsport just days after he controversially lost out on a record eighth title.
The 36-year-old became the fourth F1 driver to be knighted, following Sir Jack Brabham, Sir Stirling Moss and Sir Jackie Stewart, and the first to be awarded the honour while still competing.
Former F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone has claimed Lewis Hamilton doesn’t ‘deserve’ a knighthood
Ecclestone suggested Hamilton has not done enough for the UK to be deemed worthy of one
Hamilton was recognised in the New Year Honours list following a record-breaking year in which he eclipsed Michael Schumacher’s all-time victory tally and emulated the German by winning a seventh world title.
On Sunday, Hamilton lost out on another world title to rival Max Verstappen after their season-long battle came down to a one-lap shoot-out in Abu Dhabi.
Mercedes have withdrawn their appeal against the outcome of the race following ‘constructive dialogue’ with governing body FIA with regard to establishing clarity for future scenarios.
But Ecclestone, who built F1 into the billion-dollar sport it is today, believes Hamilton has not done enough for the United Kingdom to be deemed worthy of a knighthood.
‘Only people who have really done something for the country should be knighted,’ the 91-year-old told German broadcaster n-tv, according to The Express.
‘I don’t think many people who are knighted now really deserve it.
Ecclestone says Toto Wolff deserves an Oscar for his angry reaction in Abu Dhabi on Sunday
‘They all make a lot of money and donate some to charity but they haven’t done anything specific for the country.’
Ecclestone, who maintains a role as an advisor for Formula One, also criticised the reaction of Mercedes chief Toto Wolff to Hamilton’s contentious loss to Verstappen.
He added: ‘Other team members were probably angry too. But he was the only one to show it.
‘If Mercedes don’t win the championship retrospectively, he should at least get an Oscar for acting.’
Sunday’s season-ending race at Yas Marina saw Red Bull’s Verstappen claim victory and the title after the deployment of a late safety car led to the Dutchman being placed right behind Hamilton, who he then overtook on the final lap.
Hamilton appeared to be charging to glory, easily holding Verstappen at bay in the closing laps only for a crash for the Williams of Nicholas Latifi to change the course of events.
Hamilton lost out on another world title to rival Max Verstappen in a thrilling season finale
Confusion reigned as under-fire race director Michael Masi changed his mind to allow lapped cars to pass the safety car – meaning Verstappen had a clear run at Hamilton in the final lap and, on much faster tyres, made his move to claim a first F1 title.
Mercedes had an immediate double appeal dismissed by the stewards, then lodged an intention to appeal against that decision, which they were required to trigger by Thursday evening.
In a statement announcing they had withdrawn their appeal though, Mercedes said on Thursday: ‘The Mercedes-AMG Petronas team will actively work with this commission to build a better Formula 1 – for every team and every fan who loves this sport as much as we do.
‘We will hold the FIA accountable for this process and we hereby withdraw our appeal.’
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