Hamilton the 'best' at promoting F1 but also makes it about himself - Ecclestone

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Former Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has believes Lewis Hamilton is both the 'best and the worst' when promoting the sport.

The five-time champion has long been considered the poster boy of F1 for his immediate impact in 2007 to the celebrity status he has built away from the track over the years.

Certainly, in terms of drawing casual viewers to the sport, he is superior, with his projects in fashion and other interests, but Ecclestone does think he crosses the line between brand F1 and brand Lewis Hamilton.

“He’s unique, he’s the best and the worst for F1,” Ecclestone told Italy’s Corriere della Sera.

“The best because he knows how to promote the sport like no other and the worst because he takes away the attention from F1 to move it on himself.

“He isn’t doing anything wrong, but the other drivers have to wake up and show their personality.”

F1 isn't short of characters, with Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso all unafraid to show their true selves, but there are a lot of younger drivers who don't and often get dubbed 'robotic' as a result.

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As for the sport itself, Ecclestone has also made his pick for world champion in 2019.

“I believe that this time Ferrari will win, with Vettel,” the 88-year-old declared. “I feel happy about the atmosphere in the team and about the car. Although Hamilton is the favourite."

Previously, Bernie has used the argument that Ferrari is 'too Italian', meaning everything is run on passion which can lead to mistakes.

“Maurizio Arrivabene tried to change a few things but he wasn’t aligned with the people inside Ferrari,” he claimed.

“Mattia Binotto is very different, he has been working there for 25 years. He understands the company and the people he works with, and makes decisions quickly.”

Referring to his initial topic, however, Ecclestone admits the German isn't as good a champion for the sport commercially because of his non-F1 appeal.

“He is very intelligent, he has many interests in every field, but he’s reserved. As soon as the race is finished, he returns home to his wife and children. It’s all the opposite of Lewis.

“Do you know what I suggested to him? To open up more, to show that he’s different from what it looks like [from the outside].

“You can trust Seb, he’s a ‘real’ person. I trust him blindly, I would give him a blank check.”