I don’t read too much into that, to be fair. Bernie loves to cause a stir and that’s exactly what he’s doing there.
I think Toto and Lewis have a pretty good relationship. Mercedes are clearly 3rd best so you’d be expecting anywhere from 4th to 6th for Hamilton this season. I don’t think Russell has been miles better than him to be honest, just marginally better and has had a bit more luck along the way. Lewis was very unlucky on a couple of occasions this season. He’s shown he still has the pace in recent races so I think he will stick around for 2023 in the hope that Mercedes can produce something title worthy.
I must admit it has been nice to see his braindead moron fans scramble for excuses this season, although the Lewis fans vs Max fans pantomime has all gone very ‘Messi vs Ronaldo’ in the last year.