Jacques Villeneuve, world champion in 1997, son of Gilles, never banal in his analyzes (here the interview for his 50 years).
Do you agree with the Verstappen penalty?
«No, in Monza they” played “in two. Max was aggressive: he could have cut the chicane but then he would have had to give up the position. Lewis could have left 10 cm more but he wanted to stay in front. It seemed like a process of intentions. You cannot punish someone thinking that he did it on purpose when the contact starts meters before the maneuver becomes intentional ».
What about Hamilton’s penalty at Silverstone (10 ”)?
“I don’t know, that too was an involuntary maneuver. It was a mistake, and it bothers me that mistakes are punished. These two can’t stay on the edge. Lewis doesn’t usually make these mistakes, it only happens to him with Max. ‘
«Verstappen is always very aggressive, with Hamilton he is even more aggressive. If you put them together in the same corner they exaggerate, but these moments are part of F1. If every time a penalty is triggered there will be no more competition because no one will try to overtake ».
In a driver’s head: what happens in those wheel-to-wheel duels. Nobody lifts their foot so as not to show weakness?
“Partially yes. But what matters more is the fact that both are fighting for the World Cup and nobody wants to be behind the other ».
Prediction: who will win it?
«Verstappen is superior, he made no real mistakes. He always went on the attack. Instead Lewis showed weaknesses. And Mercedes too, more than Red Bull ».
Wasn’t he used to having an opponent anymore?
“After Rosberg, he had an easy life. Maybe he had fallen asleep a bit, this year he woke up suddenly. But it remains a phenomenon ».
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When you were running, Jacques, what were these battles like?
“There were no such penalties. But it was different, we passed inside. Now they block you on the straight, they move, you are forced to take extreme risks to pass and you can make mistakes. So it is difficult to establish the responsibilities, at Monza they were not clear ».
His clashes with Schumacher …
«Michael was the first to do certain misconduct, then many followed him. Now everyone is doing it and it is becoming very dangerous ».
Fortunately, the Hamilton-Verstappen accident occurred at low speed.
“Speed has nothing to do with it, there is always danger.”
Should they calm down?
“No because? It’s a fight, they’re gladiators and they’re not too aggressive, they just want to stand in front of each other. They do not turn around and we do not even see certain bad things as in the past ».
Like Senna and Prost?
«Their rivalry had gone far beyond the limit, there was hatred and the will to play dirty, between Lewis and Max no. I hope to see other battles, without ending up on the wall, even if it will happen again ».
McLaren has also returned to win, only Ferrari is missing. How is it possible?
«He had the opportunity and he failed, in Monte Carlo. The drivers give it their all, but the performance is lacking ».
Do you like Sainz?
«Well built, politically well done thanks to his father active in the paddock. I don’t know if he has the speed of Leclerc, but he is prepared ».
September 13, 2021 (change September 13, 2021 | 23:17)