Another figure has hit back at Bernie Ecclestone’s claim that Lewis Hamilton is a better world champion than Sebastian Vettel. In Malaysia last week, F1 supremo Ecclestone criticised German Vettel for living a private life in Switzerland, while Hamilton “gets out on the street and supports and promotes formula one”.
“He (Vettel) won four titles but went to ground. He should have done the job of world champion,” Ecclestone charged. F1 legend Gerhard Berger hit back at Ecclestone’s claim, wondering: “Does he want his drivers to run wild on the Reeperbahn? On Sunday, Vettel trod on the only red carpet that matters – as the winner of the race,” the former Ferrari driver told Sport Bild.
And now Ivan Capelli, another former driver who now heads the organising body for the Italian grand prix, has also defended Vettel’s contribution to the sport. “I do not agree with Bernie when he says that Hamilton is better for the sport,” the Italian, set to negotiate with Ecclestone over the future of Monza’s place on the calendar, told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “Walking around with earrings or rapper medallions around your neck has no effect on me. But on Sunday I saw Vettel rejoice like a child despite already having four titles in his pocket. That’s what brings people to the track. After his victory, demand for tickets has increased significantly.”
As for the future of the historic Italian grand prix, Capelli said he is hopeful his negotiations with Ecclestone set for Monaco next month will bear fruit. “I have already won the support of Pirelli in the talks with Bernie,” he revealed.
As for Ferrari, there have been rumours the powerful Italian marque is not so supportive of Monza, as it would prefer to host the race itself at Mugello. Capelli said: “I talked with (Maurizio) Arrivabene in Australia and he said that his table is clear. Maurizio is an honest person and I believe him.”