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Lewis Hamilton shrugs off Bernie Ecclestone comments

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BAKU, Azerbaijan -- Lewis Hamilton has shrugged off Bernie Ecclestone's suggestion that he seems 'fed up' with Formula One.

The former F1 boss made the comments while visiting the paddock at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and added that Hamilton is "not the racer he was". The remarks came after Hamilton failed to win any of the opening three races and struggled for performance compared to teammate Valtteri Bottas at the previous round in China.

When Hamilton was asked if he had a response to Ecclestone, he said: "Not really, no."

And when asked if he is as good as he's ever been, he added: "We'll see at the end of the year."

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff put Ecclestone's comments down to the 87-year-old's fondness for causing mischief.

"It's Bernie! He comes in and throws a hand grenade and it's in the papers. It's great! But how the news runs these days, we are oscillating between exuberance and depression and back again.

"When things are not going in the right direction it's doomsday and when you win two races in a row it is the 'utter Mercedes dominance destroying the sport'. Maybe it is somewhere in the middle!

"We haven't collectively performed on the level we would have wanted to and in the last races there were three races we could have won and we didn't.

"No, I still see the fire and desire to win very much burning in him. This is Lewis, not Bernie!"