Bernie Ecclestone fires shot at Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton while praising Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen wrapped up the 2022 Drivers’ Championship in emphatic style for Red Bull.

Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has fired a shot at Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel while praising reigning world champion Max Verstappen.

The Dutchman secured his second consecutive world title at the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix, after dominating the competition last season.

On his way to championship glory, Verstappen also broke the record for the most wins ever scored in a reason, as he finished P1 at 15 grand prix in 2022.

Ecclestone has praised the Red Bull ace for being focused just on racing, whereas other drivers – particularly Vettel and Hamilton – have increasingly been using their platforms to push for positive social and environmental change.

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“Formula 1 should thank Max Verstappen,” Ecclestone said in an interview with De Telegraaf.

“Max is a racer. He does what he has to do – he just races. The fans have wanted to see someone like that for a long time.”

At just 25 years of age, Verstappen still has plenty of time in his career to accumulate more race wins and championships.

Asked if he believes the Dutchman can break Hamilton’s record of seven world titles, Ecclestone said it’s certainly possible, but dependent on whether or not Red Bull can continue to provide him with a competitive car.

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“That depends on his car, but if Red Bull have their act together I don’t see why he can’t keep winning,” he said.

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“Whether Max will ever break the record of seven world titles? Who knows. Let’s hope so,” the former F1 supremo concluded.

Verstappen will be hunting after his third world title in 2023, and with Mercedes set to take a step forward next year and return to the front of the pack, we could be set for a repeat of 2021.

However, Ferrari also cannot be ruled out, as they have one of the strongest driver line-ups of the gird in Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, and they had the fastest car at a number of races last campaign.