Max Verstappen being ‘bullied’ by Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes in F1 title battle, says Bernie Ecclestone

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Max Verstappen being ‘bullied’ by Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes in F1 title battle, says Bernie Ecclestone
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Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are “bullying” Max Verstappen in their pursuit of the 2021 Formula One title, the sport’s former boss, Bernie Ecclestone, has declared.

This season’s thrilling battle for the championship goes down to the final race in Abu Dhabi on Sunday with the rivals level on points.

But the duel has been marked by both Mercedes and Red Bull taking to the airwaves to staunchly defend their driver, with Toto Wolff and Christian Horner not afraid to make their views clear. For Ecclestone, the Mercs have gone too far in this regard.

"Max is a kid compared to Lewis and the worst thing is Lewis has a massive publicity campaign working for him," Ecclestone told AFP.

"They have been pushing down all the time on Max and then the race directors have been looking in because Toto goes to the race director.

"Max has more than a race to confront as he has them too on his back because they are bullying him and not playing fair. It is psychological game playing."

Sunday’s race is expected to draw a huge audience from around the world as Verstappen aims to end Hamilton and Mercedes’ reign at the top of the sport - something that Ecclestone is pleased to see.

“It is good for the sport,” the 91-year-old said. “I think people have known full well in previous years who was going to win.

“But this has been an incredible year. This year it has been good to have something a little bit different. There is nothing wrong with Lewis, he has done the best he can but he has had a lot of help.”

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