Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Melbourne, 2015

Vettel should be more like Hamilton – Ecclestone

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Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Melbourne, 2015In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone says Lewis Hamilton does more for F1 as a world champion than Sebastian Vettel has.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Ecclestone: Lewis ideal role model (BT)

"He’s 100 per cent box office. I told Sebastian ‘you should be doing what he’s doing’ – the job of world champion."

Ecclestone hints next year’s German Grand Prix will be axed too as he warns of bleak future for historic European races (The Independent)

"Informed that Hockenheim has a contract for 2016 and 2018, Ecclestone added: ‘It doesn’t make a difference. A lot of people have a contract.’"

Ecclestone warning over Italian GP (AFP via Supersport)

"It’s funny how these people dig up all this money for things like the Olympics, swimming championships, European athletics, and God knows what else to boost the country."

Lewis Hamilton is the best world champion F1 has ever had, says Bernie Ecclestone… as he calls for return of double points ruling and sprinklers to create wet races (The Daily Mail)

"I also suggested that we give 20 points over a weekend. Ten points for pole and 10 for winning the race. Then the one on pole” starts maybe 12th on the grid, so you’re going to get a whole bunch of decent guys starting in the middle of the field."

Teams agree to increase their engine allocation during 2015 (Sky)

"However, it will still require ratification from the FIA before the sporting regulations are amended. "

Horner behind push to allow teams fifth power unit (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

"The objective is really to make sure that cars are out on the track, otherwise as we get further into the year it’s going to become harder and harder and teams are going to become more restrictive."

Magnussen chased seat in IndyCar (Autosport)

"Kevin Magnussen has revealed that replacing Fernando Alonso for the Australian Grand Prix scuppered his plan to race in IndyCar in 2015."

Lewis Hamilton column: Engine equalisation unfair on Mercedes (BBC)

"With Fernando, I think it’s still unclear exactly what happened to him and I will be interested to hear what the FIA, F1’s governing body, says about it."

Fernando Alonso’s crash comments were baffling – how can McLaren just accept what he said? (The Telegraph)

"If any of Fernando’s account was wrong, an FIA doctor or whoever was present in Spain for the accident would have contacted the FIA and he would not be allowed in the car this weekend."

Alonso predicts up to 1.5secs gain for McLaren (Crash)

"In Melbourne we were 4.6secs behind pole position, here I think we are in a window of 3 or 3.5secs, so it is 1sec or 1.5secs to gain in two weeks, so good progress."

Meet The Team: Force India’s Andy Stevenson (F1 via YouTube)


Comment of the day

Red Bull’s future in F1 has become a significant talking point following their poor start to 2015.

I do not want to see Red Bull go, I do not think that they are less worthy racers than, let’s say, Mercedes and I know that they have done a lot for the sport.

But I also do not think that the sport should depend on Ferrari, Red Bull or any other team so the FIA and the FOM should simply do what is best for the sport in general.

It is Red Bull’s job to find an engine supplier and meet the company’s goals under the current regulations, it is not the others’ job to make Red Bull happy.


Juan Pablo Montoya, Penske, IndyCar, St Petersburg, 2015

Practice for the first round of the 2015 IndyCar season began at St Petersburg yesterday. We’ll be following the race on F1 Fanatic Live on Sunday.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Casanova, Lazerfx, Macca, The Genuine Jim and Marc Ferring!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Jenson Button’s first win for McLaren happened five years ago today in a rain-hit Australian Grand Prix:

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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80 comments on “Vettel should be more like Hamilton – Ecclestone”

  1. Ecclestone wants Vettel to be more like Hamilton and suggests reverse grid races

    I would surely never again watch Formula 1 if we saw reverse grid races.

    1. Reading through these headlines, I thought maybe April 1st had come early this year.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        28th March 2015, 3:29

        Some call it April Fool, I just call him a-big fool!

    2. Ecclestone should be more like Lord Lucan. Gone.

    3. For a young man Seb surely is very old school and that doesn’t cut it in modern day show business. Lewis is the greatest all around marketing package, it’s not just a british celebrity he’s slowly becoming more popular around the world.

    4. To my mind there is one problem with Formula 1, and that problem goes by the name of Ecclestone.

      His job is to make sure Formula 1 has the best cars, at the best circuits, with the best drivers, because that’s what the fans like, and the fans are the reason television networks buy the rights, and why sponsors spend their money in the sport, and that’s what makes the FOM, and the CVC money.

      In my opinion, he is failing to do any of this! Yes, give him credit for his achievements in the past, but he shouldn’t be kept around just because of that.

      1. His job is to make sure Formula 1 has the best cars, at the best circuits, with the best drivers, because that’s what the fans like, and the fans are the reason television networks buy the rights

        His job is to make sure Formula 1 has the best spectacle (racing +drama +venue) and the best sponsors within a sustainable business model. It’s really not too hard either. He has to go.

    5. Reverse grid races in non descript places with hardly an audience … Yeah, Bernie. Go on do it, call it GP1, get Didi Mateschitz involved so his cars can always win. Make a great “show” of it, have despots and autocrats pay incredible money for you to bring cars and sell the footage on pay TV exclusively.

      Just don’t count on current F1 fans to stick with that series (and being on pay TV its hardly going to find any new audiences).

      Then all of us can see some quality single seater racing on great tracks (spa, Silverstone, Brands hatch, Motorland aragon, Austin and many many others), where maybe the tracks as well as all the teams can live from ticket sales, and maybe get a nice audience going too. Or turn to WEC instead.

  2. Normally I enjoy a sensible chuckle at Ecclestone’s ramblings but this is just turning silly.

  3. Bernie gets more senile by the day. Please put him someplace where he can’t hurt himself or others.

  4. Bernie is doing a really good job of alienating me from the sport I’ve followed for about 20years. I really hope he is just being a troll and not actually being seriously.

  5. I know It’s unrelated but I think there is way too much hysteria in F1.People cheer for the return of “poor” Manor but want refuelling and unlimited testing back or even worse expect 15 different winners each season.F1 isn’t a one-make series, the top teams will always have an edge.Since i actively started following F1 8 years a go only the second half of 2013,whole of 2011 and the Russian Gp have been ugly; inbetween we’ve had titles won by single digit points and plenty of drama (Interlagos 2008 and 2012,lots of surprise podiums,Alonso’s painful second places,Brawn Gp,Rosberg’s butt whoopings etc.) in addition to Williams’ results dipping and rising, Force India on the heels of giants Mclaren, Mercedes’ excellence,Kimi back from rallying doing really well straightaway,Sauber’s rags to riches and back to rags and so much more!In the “good ol days” we had processional racing,cars getting lapped upwards of 3 times, appaling reliability (despite lots of VERY thirsty engines) and lap times only 3-4% better than they are now.IMO F1 isn’t even too expensive, there is enough money for everyone (just look at the top salaries!), it rather needs to be shared wisely.Personally i would further reduce wind tunnel hours and allow for 3 pre-season and 3 in-season tests; nothing more and nothing less!And please everyone kindly stop saying LMP1 cars are faster than light cause they aren’t!F1 cars are 5 to 10 seconds PER LAP faster.

    PS: the GRADUAL engine freeze over 6 years is a great idea!We just have to look beyond our noses to see that F1 tech improves exponentially,not linearly!Anyone heard of Murphy’s Law?Duh!

    1. Agreed 100%

    2. UneedAFinn2Win
      28th March 2015, 5:09

      The empty sidepods where sponsors should appear would suggest otherwise about F1 not being too expensive.

  6. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    28th March 2015, 0:11

    Bernie, it’s time you just leave F1 be a racing sport, not a reality show. I don’t wish him to die, just some lawyers should really take a look at his mental condition. Maybe it’s the only way to get rid of his bad influence in F1.

  7. “Vettel should be more like Hamilton” Like this?

    Bernie “Hamilton is a good #F1 ambassador. Others (like Vettel) think their job is done driving the car. I never see them on red carpets.”

    No, absolutely no!

    1. Why not ?
      F1 drivers like Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart, James Hunt & Ayrton Senna were regulars on the Red Carpets celebrity events and it helped them become household names all over the world, which in turn helped promote the sport to a wider audience.

      1. Each to their own. I respect Seb because of who he is and what he does on the track. Every driver should act whatever he thinks is right and suitable for him. If F1 have an serious issue in promoting the sport surely its champions not frequenting red carper isn’t one of the myriad of obvious reasons. They have far more effective and necessary means in their hands. They don’t use them for selfish reasons and opt to blame the easy target.

        1. The Consumer Brand Index (who surely have more of a clue about such things than a senile old man who thinks the Internet is a passing fad) ranked Alonso, Massa, and Vettel all ahead of Hamilton in terms of marketability.

          1. Exactly, Hamilton is not the most popular Champion.

            Actually, isn´t he criticized because he acts and waant to be a “brand”.

          2. That index does not cover worldwide marketing but rather in their own countries.

            “98% of people in Spain knows Alonso”

            I think the fact that it has Massa at 2nd, means that study is not very reputable at all.

    2. I’m sure I remember Bernie telling Hamilton he should be more like Vettel a few years ago.

    3. Drivers are racers, not popstars.

  8. Lewisham Milton
    28th March 2015, 0:13

    “Will never be agreed on by teams”… it doesn’t need to be! Not with the Strategy Group.
    I do like the idea of the Medical Car starting from 12th though.

    1. Brilliant. Just as Medical car was going to take the world by storm, it get demoted to 12th by a new rule. Bernie, you monster!

  9. Some of Bernie’s idea’s… I don’t know what to think. How can they belong to a man in his position?
    I’m impressed by the amount of content in today’s round-up, this’ll keep me up all night!

  10. In the round up Bernie Ecclestone goes (even more) mental.

    I am waiting for the day we are going to stop calling F1 a sport and start calling it a soap opera.

    Next idea is to stop live transmissions and fast fowarding the recorded races, tricking us into believing that the cars are going faster.

    What a sad moment F1 is going through, I wondet if anyone is worried about racing at all

    1. It’s always been a soap opera

    2. UneedAFinn2Win
      28th March 2015, 4:58

      Bernie has stated over the years many,many times that they are in the entertainment business.

      1. I do agree it has to entertain people. But the man wants to transform wrestling into the WWE.

  11. Seriously Keith, can any roundup you write with the word ‘Bernie’ in it be flagged as spam and withheld from us? I know that would rule out most F1F articles but not sure we can take much more of this!!

    1. By the way, if it wasn´t for Jochen Rindt, we might still call “Bernie” Bernard Charles Ecclestone. And while Bernie was always a bit “special”, it´s getting ridicoulus lately, even for his standards.

  12. I assume this is another hallmark Bernie rambling, and in no way to be taken seriously?

    Also I wasn’t aware being F1 Champion required any more than having the most points at the end of the season, regardless of personality. This is probably another aspect of F1 Bernie takes issue with. Why not turn the sport into ‘the F1 Factor’ and let a nation of teenage girls decide who becomes champ?

    1. Yes it’s just Bernie doing his PR thing, getting free headlines at the beginning of the season, obviously he subscribes to the theory that there is no such thing as bad publicity.

      1. Yeah that is true and you are definitely right. He knows well what he’s doing. I think he’s doing more harm for the sports image in the long term though, even if he’s grabbing headlines today.

        Bad mouthing a 4 time champion because he doesn’t rub elbows with film & music stars and values his privacy is pretty tasteless. Classic Bernie!

        1. Bernie goes quiet for a while, then tries to make up for lost time with as much rapid fire non sequitur nonsense as possible.

    2. @colossal-squid it would be better than letting a nation of teenage boys decide who becomes champ

  13. @keithcollantine

    Typo: Jenson Button’s first Mclaren win was FIVE years ago; not ten.

  14. Woah, Bernie ! you had a busy friday, didn’t you? talking all that rubbish all together must be exahusting !

    Clever old man, he knows we don’t have the time to laugh at ALL his comments all at once, so he just pull them out all together.

  15. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
    28th March 2015, 0:28

    Whilst I certainly don’t agree in the slightest with the latest madcap ideas from Bernie the notion mentioned by Amus of “Will never be agreed on by teams” still does perplex me. Why do the big teams still get to dictate the rules of the sport? Of course the governing body of any sport has to pay attention to what your competitors are saying but I really don’t agree with the idea that we have to get them all to come up with and agree on the rules they race under.

    The governing body of the sport should be setting the rules, end of. Not the competitors. Although in saying all that I guess with the most recent ideas from the FIA it’s probably best they don’t just do whatever they please.

    1. Because when the governing body of the sport was left to decide the rules, it did such a poor job that F1 nearly ended at the end of 2009 due to every single other party involved being alienated from it. History is written by the winners, the big teams won, so they got the power (though that part of the coup only succeeded in the 2012 contract negotiations).

  16. Paul (@frankjaeger)
    28th March 2015, 0:28

    Sure, you can make a sport more exciting by butchering the regulations, but it loses its soul and makes the outcome a production of artificiality, rather than natural occurrences. Would you put sharks in a swimming pool to makes the swimmers go faster and act more irrational? No, but I bet Bernie would argue it would improve ‘the spectacle’

    It’s ludicrous some of the stuff he’s coming out. Adding sprinklers to track to create slippery conditions!? I’d leave that to the ecosystem or stop having so many races in the desert!

    1. Big boost to the ratings for the swimming championships if they adopt your idea, must be some drawbacks but in the short-term I can’t see them.

    2. Seriously, what’s the point in generating slippery conditions when matron, sorry, Charlie Whiting, will immediately order out a safety car for ten laps before calling off the race?!

  17. What is DC talking about there? I think it’s quite clear to see that Alonso is not the one that should provide answers on the contradictions between his statements and the team’s. When the team principal repeatedly rubbishes any suggestion of a concussion, and 2 minutes later, the driver is out of the next race because of… uhm, a concussion, then it’s quite clear (to me at least) that something was (is) completely wrong from McLaren’s side.

    Go ask Ron, David. Ask him again tomorrow and see who is the one that changed his answer.

    1. Agree 1000% my friend…DC talking some utter nonsense!

    2. @fer-no65 – Agree with your take on DC’s story regarding Alonso and McLaren. In fact all the subjects in this article of his are just stuff other people have said rehashed by DC with a bit of his own spin on it.

      Here is some of DC’s hard hitting journalism regarding Hamilton and Ferrari:
      ” In my career, only once did I speak to Ferrari.
      I had a conversation with Jean Todt – the then team manager – but decided it was not for me. I never saw the appeal of simply the badge unlike some other drivers do.
      First and foremost teams are about the people you’re with, and Lewis and Ferrari don’t seem a natural fit to me. He is not a fan of the touchy feely style Italians love, and I just can’t see him there.”

      Hard to really comprehend what that even means Mr. Coulthard. This subject was supposed to be about Hamilton and Ferrari, not DC and Ferrari.

      I find him even harder to listen to as a commentator than Johnny Herbert. Funny how some F1 drivers make good reporters (Martin Brundle) and some don’t no matter how hard they try.

  18. I know this is just typical rambling from Bernie, but i don’t feel comfortable with someone that rambles random nonsense to be running the sport. I think we deserve a sane man to be steering the sport that we love.

  19. No one is laughing.

    Bernie, just get old already— oh.

  20. What Bernie’s sayign is so ridiculous there’s got to be a more controversial thing he’s distracting us from. There’s got to be.

    1. there’s got to be a more controversial thing he’s distracting us from. There’s got to be.

      Next years F1 without Manor, Sauber, Force India, Lotus, Red Bull and Toro Rosso would have 5 teams left. Controversial enough?

  21. So Bernie wants F1 to be like the Wacky Races. Lots of crazy things going on during the race, and a random winner in the end.

  22. Neil (@neilosjames)
    28th March 2015, 1:07

    Each day makes me more and more convinced that Ecclestone spends half his time thinking up amusing ways to ‘troll’ us.

  23. Bernie’s going all out!

  24. Bernie’s comments are just embarrassing to him. No one doubts all the great things he’s done with F1, but the time for him to retire was nearly 10 years ago IMO. Surely they could give him some sort of “honorary” position in 1st class hospitality and away from reporters.

  25. Faster cars, now go and crash into slower cars at the start before turn one! RED FLAG! VSC On.

  26. Thanks Bernie, guys. I laughed a lot!

  27. My four year old has one word for Ecclestone: “Idiot”.

  28. Ecclestone should be more like a hockey player and, well, you probably know the rest…

    1. Get the puck out of here?

      Tell a joke to getzlaf?

      Retire, though he’s sure to be moosed by some?

      De-crease what he says?

      Dump and chase a new sport to ruin?

      Poke a Czech? (sorry)

      Close his praise box, it’s been empty for years anyway?

  29. With Bernie tossing all his ideas around, here’s one of mine that would improve the show a great deal: How about we have Bernie Ecclestone himself stand in the racing line on the back straight just before the braking zone to the final hairpin at Sepang this weekend, and he has to dodge the cars coming in, but in order to make it more of a spectacle, he’s got to be wearing a leprechaun costume and is only allowed off the racing line for 10 seconds during the race.

    1. I love this !

  30. Bernie’s mild dementia is just making his greed and siliness more accentuated. He will soon do permanent damage to F1.

    Fernando’s crash conspiracy theories abound.

    Indy cars look more characters in the Transformers movie than racing worthy hardware.

    Oh what tangled webs we weave…..

    1. @svianna I actually like the new indycars! they remind me of pre-2009 F1.

  31. I am a massive Hamilton fan but what Mr Eccentric says doesn’t make sense at all . The beauty of the sport is the various personalities of the drivers and teams . You just can’t do what you don’t like or what doesn’t suit you . I have always been amazed at Vettel’s outspoken nature when there’s a problem . Unfortunately , he has a true driver’s spirit and won’t support Mr E’s Gimmicks. Please somebody just tell Mr E how we fans feel . Not everybody would like to swindle all the money in the world .F1 must be a sport and not a show with sprinkler fountains .

  32. Not sure about Bernie’s thoughts on Hamilton being a perfect role model. I’m a Hamilton fan, but I definitely admire Seb’s work ethic and relative humility. I can’t think of many F1 drivers who stay behind after the race to help the team pack up. Hamilton takes silly pictures, keeps going back to a woman who likes leaving him, and definitely revels in the fame more than Seb.

    They both have a great story as people who broke the boundaries of wealth to become true success stories, but Vettel really strikes me as the better real-world role model. If Bernard was as clever as he fancies himself, he would see the marketability in that. Yeah, Lewis might be better known as a sporting figure, but who doesn’t like a successful man who still takes the time to help other people?

    Everyone is free to disagree, of course, but those are my thoughts. Unlike Bernie, I’m just a regular, rational person.

  33. So I guess its safe to say ol’Bernie has lost it.

    1. I think he was to get fired..

  34. That’s funny, I think Lewis should be more like Vettel. But both could learn from each other.

  35. Bernie should make World Racing Entertainment and get some producers from WWE. Then we will have exciting racing where lot of points are seemingly awarded randomly, the race outcome is fixed but everyone pretends its real, and there’s the “evil team” who will resort to anything to win but never caught by the officials. They could also make a preplanned DNF, and air lot of backstage drama so people “knows” what happened out of the race itself.
    On top of that the race itself could get some visual improvement too. Like night race in glamorous city. A button that gives sudden boost to pass the car ahead. More sparkles from the cars. Artificial sounds to make the car sounds more “believable” fast. Sudden track conditions in middle of the race. Oh wait…

  36. The real problem here is how the hell is this site going to come up with April fools jokes on Wednesday if Ecclestone is coming out with jokes like reverse grids as serious suggestions?

  37. I think it is time for Bernie to leave. Take nothing away from Lewis but there were many other excellent F1 champs. These days a F1 drivers rely on electonic and mechanical aids. Put the front runners in different cars and we will talk again.
    Unfortenately money talks….

  38. 10 points for 1 lap on Saturday, 10 points for winning a 100 minute race from 12th on the grid Sunday.

    Seems legit.

  39. I like the sprinklers concept. Thing is – how would it be decided when to activate them, and how hard? Maybe it could be called a FanShower?

  40. Berny, please stop talking its embarrasing. I’m embarrased for you.
    Its like going for dinner with a rasist grandparent who insists on airing their outdated opinions.

  41. Has Bernie actually spoken to anyone in the paddock recently? Say, at the Australian Grand Prix, when at least 1/3 of the downtalking was because someone failed Year 1 Maths and forgot that contracts are supposed to mean something?

  42. So, Bernie wants Vettel to start wearing ridiculous bog-chain jewellery, get an obligatory armful of embarrassing tattoos (as are all tattoos unless you’re a woman who’s lost her eyebrows) and speaking in a most peculiar conflation of a German and mid-Atlantic, ethnically-enriched, semi-American accent? No thanks. I prefer Vettel’s effortless wit and genuine charm to any of the soulless personalities conjured up by drivers who can’t decide who they are from one moment to the next and plump for the blandest version in the meantime.

    Judging from some of the conversations in the paddock today, the Bank of Bernie is calling in all its debts, regardless of the consequences. It looks like the toxic bubble could burst, though, just like the 2008 economic crash, this could usher in a new era of rebuilding from a stronger base once the destructively self-serving and dogmatically totalitarian are driven out of office. We had a similar problem of misappropriation of other people’s money to no good end.

    Bernie has done a lot for the sport by maximising the wealth it generates and investing through the strong years, but, rather than his legacy being a thriving and free-spirited sport bubbling with fresh activity, it seems that he prefers now to lead a circus of caged animals (in metaphorical reference to the teams) in a procession around the world indulging the vanity of dandy oligarchs who’ve built new tracks in the BRICS and oil-rich states.

    Watching F1 cars should be cheap, building F1 cars should be expensive, and, following this simple formula, the gladiatorial free-for-all should be priceless.

  43. @KeithCollantine Thank you for the COTD! It looks like Bernie stole the spotlight though :)

    I think it’s obvious that having different personalities (Kimi, Seb, Lewis) is one of F1’s few strengths; getting everyone “on the red carpet” is a terrible idea (not sure Bernie really means this one anyway).

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