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Hamilton “punishment did not fit the crime” – Ecclestone

Hamilton “punishment did not fit the crime” – Ecclestone

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Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone believes Lewis Hamilton‘s punishment for his British Grand Prix collision with Max Verstappen “did not fit the crime”.

One of the most debated topics in years has divided opinion, with former champion Damon Hill claiming that amongst his circle of motor racing friends it is “50-50” as to whether Hamilton or Verstappen was to blame for the lap-one Copse corner clash.

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The stewards ultimately determined Hamilton was “predominantly” at fault, with the seven-time champion hit with a 10-second penalty that infuriated all inside Red Bull.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Ecclestone also feels Hamilton got off lightly. “Who was to blame? You have to say Lewis.

“In the old days, we would have said it was one of those things, a racing incident. It was clear that everyone was doing his best to win the championship.

“But if the stewards needed to get involved then they should have given Lewis more than a 10-second penalty. It should have been 30 seconds.

“Lewis was not in front at the point they collided. It wasn’t his corner. He was almost a car’s length behind. That’s why he hit him at the back, not the front.

“Ten seconds was not right. The punishment did not fit the crime.”

Hamilton confidence lifted again

In the build-up to the Silverstone race, Ecclestone had suggested Hamilton “was not the fighter he once was” after seeing him come off second best in numerous on-track skirmishes with Verstappen this season.

But after witnessing the Hamilton of old on Sunday, Ecclestone has been quick to change his mind and now feels the 36-year-old will go on and win a record-breaking eighth title.

“Lewis has got his act together and I now think he will win the title,” added the 90-year-old. “He had lost an edge before Sunday but he did what he needed to do.

“He has just signed a new two-year deal with Mercedes. The reason he did it was that he thought he would need an extra season or so to beat Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles.

“But I can guarantee that this incident has got his confidence back, in a way it hasn’t been there all year. He has a better chance than before. It has given him a lift and it’s back to the old Lewis.”

F1

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July 20, 2021 at 02:59PM

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