Bernie Ecclestone has claimed Mercedes chief Toto Wolff is considering replacing Lewis Hamilton as the grid heads to Britain this weekend.
Hamilton, 37, is having one of the toughest seasons of his career and languishes in sixth place in the Drivers’ Championship standings.
The British driver, a record eight-time winner at Silverstone, is without a race win until his return to the British Grand Prix.
Hamilton still has a year more on his contract with the Silver Arrows, but Ecclestone believes Wolff could end his £40m-a-year contract early.
“Lewis could sell his position to Toto,” the 91-year-old former F1 boss suggested to the Daily Mail.
“That’s the amount I get, I’m going to walk away and give myself half of what I would get. Toto can go do one of his magic deals, offer someone less money and keep 20 million pounds.
“Nobody needs to tell Toto because he’s already thought about it. Lewis would probably stop under those circumstances. I don’t know what he’s doing dressing up in all those funny clothes. Did he he okay with that? Is it to get noticed? Maybe that’s it.
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Ecclestone added: “I didn’t think [Russell] was so good, but he did a great job. I am surprised. Or is this a case of Lewis doing a poor job? A bit of both. Toto is a bit fed up with Lewis.
“I don’t think he’s trying, do you?” Put another way, Lewis doesn’t seem embarrassed to lose.
“It’s not like him. He has a competitive nature but he takes defeat a bit easily for my taste. I don’t think he actively helps George.
“I don’t think he’s doing anything. I don’t think he cares too much. He is not ready to make the effort he made to win.
British Grand Prix: UK start date and time
Race weekend at Silverstone Circuit in Towcester, Northamptonshire is scheduled for Friday July 1 to Sunday July 3.
There will be two practices on Friday starting at 12:30 p.m. with the third session starting at 11:45 a.m. on Saturday.
Qualifying will then take place at 2:10 p.m. while the actual race will begin at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
British Grand Prix: TV Channel and Live Stream
Coverage will again be on Sky Sports F1 throughout the weekend. Their coverage of Sunday’s race build-up begins at 1:30 p.m.
Sky Sports customers can stream this live through the app using their mobile devices, tablets or computers.
Alternatively, you can buy a Sky Sports Day Pass from NowTV for £9.99 while Channel Four will show highlights later in the evening.
talkSPORT will have all the best of the action throughout the week while talkSPORT.com will have a live blog for the race.
British Grand Prix: qualifying results
- 1 Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
- 2 Max Verstappen, Red Bull
- 3 Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
- 4 Sergio Perez, Red Bull
- 5Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
- 6Lando Norris, McLaren
- 7 Fernando Alonso, Alpine
- 8 George Russell, Mercedes
- 9 Guanyu Zhou, Alfa Romeo Racing
- 10 Nicholas Latifi, Williams
- 11 Pierre Gasly, Alpha Tauri
- 12 Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo Racing
- 13 Yuki Tsunoda, Alpha Tauri
- 14Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren
- 15 Esteban Ocon, Alpine
- 16 Alex Albon, Williams
- 17 Kevin Magnussen, Haas
- 18Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin
- 19 Mick Schumacher, Haas
- 20Lance Stroll, Aston Martin
British Grand Prix: What was said?
Former F1 driver Max Chilton has told talkSPORT that Max Verstappen may already have his second world title in the bag due to Ferrari’s reliability issues.
Defending champion Verstappen currently leads title rival Charles Leclerc by 49 points, which is a whopping 95-point gap between the two since the Australian Grand Prix.
When asked if he agrees with the pundits who say the title race is over, Chilton replied: “When I say unfortunately, it’s not because I don’t want him to wins, but I think they’re probably right.
“At the start of the year we all thought it was going to be Ferrari and Leclerc, but the relationship between how they keep falling and having problems is not how you win a championship.
“There are a lot more races for them but Red Bull seems pretty consistent, they have some reliability issues so you never know at the moment, but if I was a punter at the moment it would probably be Max.”
Formula 1 2022: Driver Ranking
Driver / Car / Points
- Max Verstappen / Red Bull Racing / 175
- Sergio Perez / Red Bull Racing / 129
- Charles Leclerc / Ferrari / 126
- George Russell / Mercedes / 111
- Carlos Sainz / Ferrari / 102
- Lewis Hamilton/Mercedes/77
- Lando Norris / McLaren / 50
- Valtteri Bottas / Alfa Romeo / 46
- Esteban Ocon / Alpine / 39
- Fernando Alonso / Alpine / 18
- Pierre Gasly / Alphatauri / 16
- Kevin Magnussen/Haas/15
- Daniel Ricciardo/McLaren/15
- Sebastien Vettel / Aston Martin / 13
- Yuki Tsounda/Alphatauri/11
- Zhou Guanyu / Alfa Romeo / 5
- Alexander Albon / Williams / 3
- Lance Stroll/Aston Martin/3
- Mick Schumacher / Haas / 0
- Nicolas Latifi / Williams / 0
- Nico Hulkenberg / Aston Martin / 0
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