Bernie Ecclestone; a Former Formula One chief; has suggested that Lewis Hamilton will regret his support of Black Lives Matter.
Over the years, Hamilton has been a strong advocate for the cause as well as other equality movements but Ecclestone, who ran the sport for four decades until 2017, has said he will be left feeling it’s “his fault,” if, presumably, the movement does not achieve its desire goal.
Speaking ahead of the British Grand Prix this weekend, the 90-year-old said the two last spoke when Hamilton made his support for Black Lives Matter public.
“Lewis thought I was against it but he was wrong because I know what he is trying to do. He called me because I spoke to his father, Anthony. I said the trouble for Lewis is that he has gone out of his way to wave the flag for Black Lives Matter and that people are making an awful lot of money out of this, and not him.
“As soon as the passion wears off, he will be left with it being his fault. And all he has ever done is try to do something to support it.” Ecclestone said.
Last year, Eccelstone told CNN that “in lots of cases, Black people are more racist than white people” to which Hamilton called the 90-year-old “uneducated and ignorant.”
The Mercedes driver is 32 points behind leader Max Verstappen in this season’s drivers championship and Ecclestone claimed the seven-time world champion is “not quite the fighter that he was.”
“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 had to make the effort. But now maybe he is thinking that he better take it a bit easier,” said Ecclestone.
Hamilton this month signed a new contract which ties him to Mercedes for a further two years, but Ecclestone said he does not expect the British driver to see out the new deal.
“At the beginning of the year, I thought he would look to win the championship and then retire. But it appears not, even though I wouldn’t rely too much on contracts. He can escape from that. He probably had a look at the clothing range and music but realized that it is not as easy to make money there as it is in Formula One.”
The sport heads to Silverstone this weekend for the British Grand Prix and will see the introduction of sprint qualifying, marking the biggest shakeup of the sport in recent history.
Instead of a traditional qualifying session, the drivers will now compete in a 100km race on Saturday to decide grid positions for the actual race on Sunday but Ecclestone criticized the move as “an unnecessary confusion for no reason.”
Hamilton has been vocal in his support for equality and before every race he and other drivers take the knee. The Mercedes driver also commissioned a 10-month study to improve diversity in motor racing.
The seven-time world champion is the only Black driver on the Formula One grid, and the report showed that just one percent of employees in the sport are Black.