Toto Wolff ‘fed up’ with Lewis Hamilton as Mercedes chief ‘thinking’ of replacing star

LEWIS HAMILTON has looked out of sorts for Mercedes during the first half of the season.

Bernie Ecclestone has claimed that Mercedes chief Toto Wolff is “fed up” with Lewis Hamilton and is thinking of replacing the blockbuster star. Hamilton has endured a miserable F1 season this year and is a lowly sixth in the Drivers’ Championship standings.

F1: Lewis Hamilton claims he has shrunk an inch after his bruising ride in  Azerbaijan | Daily Mail OnlineHamilton just missed out on a record eighth F1 championship last season as Max Verstappen claimed his maiden title after winning the final race of the year in Abu Dhabi. But this year, Hamilton has been unable to keep pace with his rivals at the top of the leaderboard, with his Mercedes car struggling with porpoising issues.

The Briton still has another year remaining on his contract with the Silver Arrows. But former F1 chief Ecclestone believes Wolff has considered offering Hamilton a package to walk away from the team early.

“Toto is getting a bit fed up with Lewis,” the 91-year-old told the Daily Mail. “I don’t think he’s trying, do you? Let’s put it another way, Lewis doesn’t seem bothered about losing. It’s not like him. He has a competitive nature – but he’s taking losing a bit easy for my liking.

“Lewis might sell his position to Toto. ‘This is how much I am getting, I’ll step down and give me half of what I would get.’ Toto can go and do one of his magic deals, offer someone less money and keep £20m. Nobody needs to tell Toto this because he has already thought of it. Lewis would probably stop under those circumstances.”

2022 F1 Season Race CalendarHamilton has been outshone by his new Silver Arrows team-mate this year and is two places behind the 24-year-old in the standings. And Ecclestone has questioned whether the veteran is having a positive impact on the former Williams driver.

I didn’t think he [Russell] was that good but he has done an excellent job,” continued the business magnate. “I’m surprised. Or is it a case of Lewis doing a bad job? A bit of both. I don’t think he [Hamilton] is actively helping George. I don’t think he’s doing anything. I don’t think he cares too much. He’s not prepared to put the effort into winning that he did.”

And Ecclestone hasn’t reserved his criticism of Hamilton for his driving as he has also taken a bizarre swipe at the 37-year-old’s fashion sense. “I don’t know what he is doing dressing up in all those funny clothes,” added Ecclestone. “Has he a deal to do it? Is it to get noticed? Maybe that’s it.”


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