The F1 chief executive has been critical of the sport's latest title winners as ambassadors, accusing 2005 and 2006 champion Fernando Alonso of doing "nothing", while Kimi Raikkonen "barely talks to anyone".

Bernie Ecclestone has declared himself happy with formula one's new world champion.

The F1 chief executive has been critical of the sport's latest title winners as ambassadors, accusing 2005 and 2006 champion Fernando Alonso of doing "nothing", while Kimi Raikkonen "barely talks to anyone".

Ecclestone, 77, told the Daily Express: "I don't have a problem with Lewis now. He's great and I hope that is how he always is.

"Formula one has given these guys something, I like to see them give something back.

"My message to Ron (Dennis) would be to let Lewis be what he is, the guy we see and like," he said.

Ecclestone said on the Interlagos grid last Sunday that both Hamilton and Felipe Massa would make good champions, but the British billionaire now seems excited at the prospect of a "Tiger Woods effect" for his sport.

"A lot of people who might not watch grand prix racing on television will switch on to see him. There could be a Tiger Woods effect," he said.

To another British newspaper, Ecclestone said he does not approve of the level of criticism of F1's new world champion.

"Hamilton is a young man doing his best and I get upset with people who say he is an arrogant bastard and all this nonsense," he insisted.

"Lewis has achieved an awful lot and it would be bloody difficult for any of us to be the same as him. And yet there are so many people out there that want him to lose, so he has to make sure he delivers.

"I think he comes over as a bit overconfident but don't forget they said the same things about Michael (Schumacher)," he explained.

"I am sure he will grow into the position he has achieved; it just takes time. He has to be careful what he says and how he presents himself, otherwise there are no fears."

 

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