Jacques Villeneuve, 1997 world champion with Williams, is not a big fan of the current era of Formula 1.
These days, the French-Canadian still earns his living in the paddock as a television pundit, but he makes no secret of the fact that the sport has moved away from his passion.
“Formula 1 has ceased to be extreme,” he told the Russian website Formula 1news.ru.
“Engines lasting only one race [is extreme], you know? Tyres wearing out quickly because they’re so fast, not because they’re not strong enough.
“Sometimes, now, an F1 car in the race is slower than a GP2 car in qualifying – that is absolutely wrong,” Villeneuve charged.
“The way F1 has developed, for me has been the wrong path, and the situation is only getting worse in the future.
“Next year, drivers will use only five engines for the whole season – in my view, it’s becoming more like endurance racing.”
There is a feeling in the paddock that fellow purist Mark Webber’s decision to quit F1 and join Porsche at Le Mans is also due to a Villeneuve-like line of reasoning.
Alex Wurz, an ex F1 driver who currently spearheads Toyota’s sports car project, thinks the falling out with Sebastian Vettel also contributed to Webber’s call.
“Mark is still hungry and I think he wants to go somewhere where it’s all about the racing again,” Wurz told German broadcaster Sky.
“The world endurance championship is simple; all the drivers are paid to drive, the racing is the focus; there’s much less politics than in F1.
“I’m convinced Webber has had enough of the politics, which I can understand because I felt the same when I finished my F1 career.
“I have no doubt he will have lots of fun in the WEC,” Austrian Wurz added. (GMM)
Subbed by AJN.