Ecclestone Lauds Max Verstappen’s Resilience Against ‘Bullying’ Media Controlled By Mercedes

Published 12/15/2021, 5:57 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 11, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates after qualifying in pole position Pool via REUTERS/Kamran Jebreili


When Max Verstappen crossed the finish line in P1 at Yas Marina, most of the Formula 1 community erupted in joy having finally been able to witness a new world champion after the sheer dominance by Lewis Hamilton.

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However, unsurprisingly, Mercedes and their supporters were absolutely dejected, with a few calling out the ridiculous Michael Masi ruling and further portraying Verstappen’s championship victory as undeserving. But, do you really think the Dutchman did not deserve the championship?

Well, former F1 CEO, Bernie Ecclestone, doesn’t think so. The 91-year-old reckoned that Mercedes attempted to drag Verstappen into poor light using the influence of the media and yet, the now 1-time world champion managed to stay firm against such firings and carried his incredible momentum till the very final lap of the race.

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Ex-F1 CEO lauds Max Verstappen

During an exclusive interview with F1 Insider, Ecclestone alleged that Mercedes bullied Verstappen throughout the season with the help of the media. Hence, the fact that Verstappen still went on to win the title makes his victory more deserving than ever.

Of course, the business magnate further went on to point out that Verstappen managed to beat a driver who’s already won seven world championship titles against some of the most resilient rivals.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 11, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates after qualifying in pole position Pool via REUTERS/Kamran Jebreili

Absolutely. At a young age, he prevailed against Lewis Hamilton, one of the best and most successful drivers of all time. And not just on the track,” he said.

Because Hamilton’s team pulled out all the stops, including media, to unsettle Max. You can almost talk about bullying.

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Mercedes has press under control: Ecclestone

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Ecclestone reckoned that Mercedes blatantly controlled a large part of the press in a desperate attempt to mentally defeat Verstappen.

Formula One F1- Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – December 4, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after qualifying in third position Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

Mercedes has a large part of the press firmly under control, that was clearly noticeable. But Max didn’t let himself go mad and just did his thing. Everything he said was, in my opinion, authentic and not political,” he said.

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Overall, irrespective of the debate surrounding the more deserving 2021 championship candidate, Verstappen and Hamilton have avoided taking their rivalry out of control by maintaining their respect for each other. But, will it continue to be the same in 2022 as well?

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Rohit Kumar

1629 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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