Lewis Hamilton's 'natural ability is fantastic' says Button
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Lewis Hamilton has hit back at Bernie Ecclestone’s claims that he hasn’t been driving at maximum effort this season. Ecclestone has suggested the seven-time world champion has lost his fighting spirit as he faces stiff competition from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Hamilton is gearing up to feature in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone this weekend as he seeks his first win since early May.
The Brit currently trails Verstappen by 32 points in the 2021 Drivers’ Championship, whilst Mercedes are 44 points off Red Bull in the team standings.
Hamilton has won just two races out of nine so far this season, in Italy and Spain, whilst Verstappen has triumphed in the last three and four of the last five.
Amid his struggles, former chief executive of the Formula One Group Bernie Ecclestone has doubted his work rate.
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In the build-up to the British Grand Prix, the 90-year-old suggested Hamilton isn’t the fighter he once was.
He said: “There are lots of occasions this year where he could have done better, and he hasn’t.
“He hasn’t had any competition, the equipment has always been super, and he hasn’t really had to make the effort.
“But now maybe he is thinking that he better take it a bit easier.”
In response, Hamilton insisted that he’s not the driver he was when he started, but better.
“I wasn’t aware of [Ecclestone’s] comments until I arrived here. Honestly, this has been such an interesting week,” Hamilton explained.
‘We had the football which was exciting for one moment, and then it was quite difficult afterwards, although the positive support subsequently has been amazing.
“I have also been focused with the (Hamilton) Commission. No one is side-tracking me.
“I am not the driver I was when I started, I am better, and I know myself way more than I ever did.”
Hamilton has won more British Grand Prix than any other driver in F1 history with seven triumphs.
He has won the race at Silverstone six times in the last seven years, with Sebastian Vettel’s 2018 success the sole anomaly.
Mercedes’ star will be optimistic about getting his world title defence back on track when the drivers take to the track once again this weekend.
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