Bernie Ecclestone claims Lewis Hamilton is “the best world champion” Formula 1 has ever had because of the way he conducts himself away from the circuit.
The 84-year-old praised not only Hamilton’s driving skills, but his popularity outside of the sport which has helped to promote F1 and he believes other champions, such as Sebastian Vettel, should act in a similar fashion.
“As a driver he is absolutely outstanding, as good as there’s ever been,” Ecclestone told BT Sport.
“Apart from the fact he’s talented, he’s a good guy, he gets out on the street and supports and promotes F1,” he added. “He’s 100 per cent box office.”
Hamilton is often photographed hanging around with other celebrities as well as marketing himself by attending award ceremonies – most recently he presented an award alongside Ellie Goulding at the Brit Awards.
Ecclestone believes that is good for F1 and he’s surprised other drivers don’t do similar things to boost their own career’s and therefore their potential earning possibilities.
“I told Sebastian ‘you should be doing what he’s doing’ – the job of world champion.
“He was the champion and got paid money for that, but these guys think their only job is racing a racing car. It goes a bit further than that.
“Look at (Sir) Jackie Stewart, who is still making quite a bit of money, and he hasn’t been in a car for a few years.
“But it works because he’s looked after his image and he still does a good job. Perhaps these guys think when they stop that’ll be it.”