Bernie Ecclestone says Rosberg/Vettel bad for Formula 1 business

Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone says German drivers Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel are not good for business because they do not do enough to endear themselves to fans

Bernie Ecclestone says Rosberg/Vettel bad for Formula 1 business

TV audiences and race attendances in Germany have been in decline of late, with the German Grand Prix getting axed from the calendar this season for the first time since 1960.

In a joint interview with Rosberg for the official F1 website, Ecclestone said the 2014 runner-up and four-time champion Vettel do not do enough to boost their individual profiles.

"As the cancellation of the German Grand Prix indicates, Germany is a terrible market for Formula 1," said Ecclestone.

"On the contrary Lewis [Hamilton] is a hero in the UK. The British love Formula 1.

"Sebastian is also not doing much for F1. People hardly recognise him on the street."

Ecclestone picked out world champion Hamilton, who is often seen at A-list parties, as a good promoter of F1, which he says has in turn boosted its profile in the UK and across the world.

"I still believe that Lewis is the best champion that we have had in a long, long time," said Ecclestone.

"He manages to get to all different walks of life: red carpet, fashion business, and music - you name it.

"That is not your [Nico's] fault or his. You two are just very different characters.

"When it comes to F1, I am a huge Lewis fan because he is a super promoter of the sport.

"From a pure business aspect - sorry Nico if I have to say this - you are not so good for my business."

Rosberg responded: "Wait a minute. That is a hard call.

"Bernie is the commercial rights holder so the more outgoing the champion is, the better. Of course.

"I also do think about our sport and want to make an effort - but in my own way. I am Nico and not Lewis."

Ecclestone added: "It sounds harder than it is meant. Unfortunately you don't have the German fans on your side."

F1's boss went on to suggest that the championship needs more figureheads.

"True, I also would rather race than strut red carpets in Hollywood - and thank God this is not my job - but also the team principals should be more prominent," he added.

"Take away Toto Wolff's Mercedes shirt and send him down a street - nobody would recognise him."

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Nico Rosberg , Sebastian Vettel
Author Lawrence Barretto
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