Bernie: Ron cost Hamilton title - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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Bernie: Ron cost Hamilton title

Bernie: Ron cost Hamilton title

Formula One supremo believes that Lewis Hamilton's hopes of becoming Formula One world champion ended when Ron Dennis' McLaren switched him to a "silly strategy," in the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix.

British superstar Hamilton, 22, dropped to 18th early on when his gearbox malfunctioned, but, despite battling back to seventh, missed out on the title to Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen, who won, by just a point.

Crucially though, Hamilton was switched from a two-stop strategy to three during the race, and Ecclestone believes the advantage lost through the extra time pitting was the prime factor in preventing him from taking the title.

"Ron gave Raikkonen the championship," Ecclestone told the Daily Mirror. "He made no time on the road and lost 25 seconds making the stop. If he had only lost 15 seconds he would have been fourth.

"(Now) Raikkonen is champion. I just hope he starts talking more."

And three-time world champion Niki Lauda, who was the first driver to win the world title for McLaren after Dennis bought the team, agrees with Ecclestone.

"A two-stop strategy could have bought him up to fifth place. We need to look at times. There are 20 seconds missing. If this is the case McLaren screwed up," the Austrian said.

Dennis though, believes the switch of strategy was the only logical choice for Hamilton in a bid to get him back up the field.
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