Former Formula One team manager Flavio Briatore has said that in his opinion Lewis Hamilton needed to get his head back in the game if he wanted to retain his world championship for a third consecutive season.
Briatore criticised Hamilton for his ‘playboy’ lifestyle, suggesting that the driver was spending too much time on music and his jet set lifestyle, and that he needed to focus more on driving if he wants to hold off Nico Rosberg’s challenge in the world championship standings.
“Rosberg lately seems to have put the head in place,” Briatore told Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport magazine. “Hamilton is ‘a bit DJ, a bit rapper’ – he has great talent, but if you want to win you have to concentrate only one thing.
“If I were him, I would work a little less on music and more on F1,” he added.
Briatore’s comments echo those of another Formula One icon Sir Jackie Stewart, who suggested this week that Hamilton now had the sort of “life that distracts you” and that he had lost focus on Formula One due to his busy personal schedule away from racing.
But Briatore’s strongest praise went not to either of the Mercedes drivers but rather to Red Bull prodigy Max Verstappen, whom he said reminded him of Fernando Alonso – the driver that Briatore helped make world champion in 2005 and 2006.
“Verstappen is a phenomenon, a talent – it’s like seeing Alonso at the beginning. It is useless to insist on the old, it takes youngsters such as Verstappen.”
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