Cape Town - With five World titles in the bag and mass appeal around the
world, Bernie Ecclestone says F1 needs Lewis Hamilton "more than
The Mercedes driver became only the third man in history to
win five World titles, wrapping up the 2018 championship with a P4 in Sunday's
Mexican Grand Prix.
At 33 years of age and having signed a new Mercedes deal
earlier this season, Hamilton could yet chase down Michael Schumacher's record
of seven titles.
One person hoping he sticks around to do just that is former
"The guy is just phenomenal," Ecclestone told
German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.
"He is simply the best - on many levels.
"He is the best driver, he gets better and better under
pressure, and he does so much more for Formula One worldwide than anyone else.
"He's the attraction at a time when Formula One is not
"He keeps Formula One racing, it needs Lewis more than
Ecclestone also weighed in on Formula 1 possibly gaining a
new Schumacher in the years to come.
Mick Schumacher, who recently won the European Formula 3
championship, has enough points for a super license and is knocking on F1's
He is, however, expected to rather race in Formula 2 next
season as he builds up towards F1.
"He is doing a fantastic job. Mick is well on the way
to Formula One," said Ecclestone.
"It's just too bad that his father cannot support
As for whether Ferrari or Mercedes await Mick, Ecclestone
replied: "Why not?"