Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to playTap to playThe video will auto-play soon8CancelPlay now
Get email updates with the day’s biggest stories
Invalid EmailSomething went wrong, please try again later.Sign upWe use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time.More infoThank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy notice
Lewis Hamilton has hit back at Bernie Ecclestone ahead of this weekend's British Grand Prix.
Ecclestone, 90, launched a bizarre rant at the world champion earlier this week, claiming he had lost some of his "fight" behind the wheel.
The F1 supremo also referenced Hamilton's "fashionable" push for the Black Lives Matter movement.
"Perhaps Lewis is not quite the fighter he was," Ecclestone said. "There are lots of occasions this year where he could have done better and he hasn’t.
"He has had no competition over the last few years. The equipment has always been super and he hasn’t had to make the effort.
Hamilton has hit back at Ecclestone
(Image: Motorsport Images / SplashNews.com)
"At the beginning of the year, I thought he would look to win the championship and then retire, but it appears not — even though I wouldn’t rely too much on contracts. He can escape from that."
When asked whether he speaks regularly to Hamilton, Ecclestone responded: "On and off. The last time was around the time of his support of Black Lives Matter.
"Lewis thought I was against it but he was wrong because I know what he is trying to do.
"He called me because I spoke to his father, Anthony. I said the trouble for Lewis is that he has gone out of his way to wave the flag for Black Lives Matter and that people are making an awful lot of money out of this, and not him.
Hamilton and Ecclestone back in 2015
"As soon as the passion wears off, he will be left with it being his fault. And all he has ever done is try to do something to support it.
"It is the same thing with football where these things have become the fashionable thing to do to make it look as if you are interested in doing something. But I wonder what people actually do apart from talking about it?
"Lewis has done more than most on this. I don’t know what the footballers have actually done other than support each other."
But Hamilton has hit back – claiming he is better behind the wheel than he has ever been.
Lando Norris relives terror of being mugged for £40k watch after Euro 2020 final
Bernie Ecclestone lays into Lewis Hamilton in another attack on F1 star's fight against racism
The Brit currently sits 32 points behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen in the 2021 standings.
Hamilton said of Ecclestone's remarks: "I wasn’t aware of his comments until I arrived here. Honestly, this has been such an interesting week.
"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."