Jul.6 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone at Silverstone said he is not among the critics of Silverstone winner Lewis Hamilton's off-track activities.
Hamilton, the 23-year-old McLaren driver, has been making headlines recently not only for his exploits at grand prix circuits, but amid a growing number of red carpet appearances and other mentions by the celebrity tabloid press.But Ecclestone, F1's chief executive and in charge of the sport's commercial rights, welcomed the development of the British driver into a rare "character" on the grid."There were always characters in the old days and Lewis is becoming one, which is great," the 77-year-old told People Sport."There are so many people who love a driver like Lewis to be promoting the sport in the way he does."Drivers can be too robotic and not show what they are really about. It would be good if (they were) more like Lewis."Ecclestone also praised Hamilton's paymasters for allowing him to display his real personality to the world."Most of the guys in the 70s and 80s were good guys who could sell the sport. They were all characters like James Hunt and Ayrton Senna. They helped promote everything," Bernie said."I think they seem to be letting Lewis off the leash a little more and that is the right thing to do. He seems to be benefiting from it and so is formula one."