Villeneuve: Today’s F1 drivers are children, babies and they’re kept like that

Jacques Villeneuve drove his father's Ferrar 312T last month at Fiorano

Jacques Villeneuve drove his father's Ferrar 312T last month at Fiorano

Jun.7 (GMM) The 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve has prefaced this weekend’s Canadian grand prix by admitting that he is no big fan of today’s Formula One culture, but will nevertheless be attending this weekend’s F1 race, held in Montreal at the circuit named in honour of his late father.Jacques Villeneuve (CDN). Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Bahrain Grand Prix, Preparations, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, Thursday 3 April 2008.

Race organisers intend to mark the 30th anniversary of legendary Gilles Villeneuve’s death.

“There’s something planned, but I would like to keep it a surprise,” promoter Francois Dumontier told the Montreal Gazette.

Villeneuve, 41, recently marked the anniversary by driving one of his father’s old Ferraris at the Italian marque’s Fiorano test track. He will be at his home race this weekend as a guest pundit for British television Sky.

But he has kicked off his involvement by slamming the 2012 spectacle, including the Pirelli tyre lottery and “daddy’s boy” drivers.

Comparing today’s crop with his father’s era, Villeneuve said: “They weren’t racers at 12 years old, the financing there in place for them to race.”

“They had to sweat for it, they weren’t little daddy’s boys like you have now basically. They are driving F1 and they are still children, they are still babies and they are kept like that,” said the former Williams, BAR, Renault and BMW driver.

Gilles Villeneuve (CDN) Ferrari 312T3 took his maiden GP victory in his home GP. Canadian Grand Prix, Rd 16, Montreal, Canada, 8 October 1978. BEST IMAGEThe winner of 11 grands prix also admitted he is not particularly enjoying the big impact of Pirelli’s heavily-degrading and difficult to understand control tyre.

“I am not a huge, huge fan right now,” said the French Canadian. “There is very little the drivers can do, the tyres just suddenly disappear and that doesn’t seem to be to the level that F1 should be at.”

Villeneuve said he does not agree it is a good thing that ‘underdogs’ like Pastor Maldonado are considered perennial contenders for race wins.

“It is always fun to see an underdog beat the establishment but it is something that happens once in a while. Now it seems to be almost a constant. It is not logical, the best should win,” Villeneuve insisted.

He also slammed F1’s new generation for not taking the risks of  F1 seriously enough.

“When you see Bruno Senna in Barcelona, he is not in the same race, he is going appallingly slow and he is blocking guys who are fighting for the points,” he said, referring to the Brazilian’s crash with Michael Schumacher.

“That is just not intelligent driving for starters. But secondly, when you do a little twitch down the straight, that is just wrong.”

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  • Butterfly

    The Canadian dude is right.

  • Nemo

    Old grumpy Jacques

  • Too many new rules

    Jacques is speaking of himself, so has has every right to make those comments… plus, his annual driver bashing each year the Canadian GP takes place without him in it.

  • TheRealPhillyJ

    And to think I usually disagree with JV…

    not today!

  • Mighty K

    This guy was never as good as he’d have you believe.

  • fools

    i still dont think Senna was wrong in Barcelona crash with Schumi

  • f1 fan

    Alonso , Shumacher , Hamilton , raikkonen aren’t babies for sure !!!!!!!

  • Butterfly

    @f1 fan:

    Well, I think he’s talking of Vettel, Perez, Maldonado, not the 30+ yo guys.

  • Hawk

    bitter man. I wonder what makes him so cross and unhappy

  • Psych4191

    @F1 Fan…. Hamilton is definitely a prima donna baby girly man.

  • Nemo

    @ Hawk; His bitterness may be linked to his unsuccessful return to F1, also his unsuccessful album – Private Paradise

  • sennauno

    JV is usually wrong but dont let that and the fact that he has to be one of the most ordinary drivers to proclaim himself world champion delude you. . Little does he know that he himself is a baby

    He’s right on the money though & im willing to bet that those of you who disagree are relatively new to F1 & dont really know what JV is talking about. Those who know, at least were around to watch Prost Piquet Mansell Senna Schumacher era. No pussies allowed

  • Andy – London

    He pretty much has a point. The pay-drive system that allows drivers like Maldonado to race for Williams is all wrong.

    However, Villeneuve I consider lucky, inheriting the best car when he came into F1 and having a relatively average team mate (seriously) in Damon Hill. He even outqualified Hill in his first race and would have won it if not for an oil leak which turned Damons car rather brown.

    When the new regulations came in 1998 the Winfield-sponsored Williams was off the pace and Jacques was pretty ordinary. He did nothing for BAR – in fact as soon as they replaced him they started to achieve something. Exactly the same thing happened when he left BMW mid-season. Kubica scored points immediately. Too expensive to hire as a driver, and only had 2 good seasons in F1. Michael drove the socks off that Ferrari in 97 only to be a very silly boy at Jerez. He had a radiator leak, so Jacques would have been world champion anyway and Michael wouldn’t have been stripped of 2nd.

  • Andy – London

    Derr not a radiator leak as F1 cars don’t have them!

    I remember Michael losing 4 seconds in 2 sectors and it was something to do with cooling problems.

  • whatsyourpoint

    @andy london

    F1 cars dont have radiators? how do u suppose they keep cool?