The crashes between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have made Mercedes more popular than any of their wins did, claims Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

With the last-lap Austrian GP clash between Hamilton and Rosberg having grabbed the headlines in the build-up to the British Grand Prix, Ecclestone thinks that Mercedes should be relishing the focus on it.

When asked in an interview on the official F1 website about why Mercedes was not as loved as other teams, Ecclestone said: "Because right now people think: they will win anyway. That's it. There are no emotions about something that is so obvious.

"The two Mercedes guys crashing gives them more popularity than winning. Just look at what is going on since Austria - more positive publicity in my opinion.

"It's shown that they let their guys race. In terms of brand management, it's D-Day."

Hamilton champion

Although Rosberg has led the championship since the season-opener in Australia, Ecclestone remains convinced that it is Hamilton who will eventually come out on top.

"I believe Lewis will win again," he said. "He already had his share of bad luck this season. Take me: I don't like too much luck, as then there is mostly a lot bad luck to follow!"

He added: "I am not saying that this would be the best thing for F1. I am not saying that there is anything bad about Nico at all. It's just the general circumstances."

Red Bull engine mistake

With Mercedes having been so dominant this season, Ecclestone says he regrets not having pushed harder for the German car manufacturer to supply Red Bull with engines for this year.

In fact, he suggests that not happening was one of the biggest mistakes the sport has made over recent years.

"Mercedes should have let an engine go to Red Bull," he said. "That is the biggest mistake we've made in F1 in the last couple of years.

"That would have been brilliant for the competition. Mercedes probably still would have won - but it would have looked a lot better when they win the world championship in the last race of the season."


Be part of something big