Villeneuve: Verstappen deal is worst thing ever for F1

Jacques Villeneuve

Jacques Villeneuve

Former world champion Jacques Villeneuve on Friday criticised the Red Bull-Toro Rosso recruitment of 16-year-old Dutch racer Max Verstappen and said that it proved F1’s superlicence system is flawed.

The 1997 champion said that it proves the current licence system is “meaningless” and suggested it is “the worst thing ever for Formula One.”

Canadian Villeneuve said: “Getting a superlicense should be meaningful, not just doing three hundred kilometres and it being fine. There is something that is flawed there.”

“Basically, it’s like getting all the presents without deserving anything. But there is this thing of ‘the younger, the better’. What’s the next step? A team who will sign someone at 15 just to get the image out of it?”

“It is the wrong way round. Caesar and Napoleon were good from the beginning but it takes time before you become an emperor.

Max Verstappen at Spa

Max Verstappen at Spa

“You build it. It does not mean that you are more talented, it doesn’t mean that you are faster but you build, it’s something you learn and you become a man also.

“He is still a boy so it is very risky. You don’t take a 16-year-old, who hasn’t even been to university, in the best hospital as a doctor even if he is very good and very intelligent.

“You need to pay dues; you need to deserve it because that is only how you will become a man.”

“It is the worst thing ever for Formula One because it will have two effects,” he added. “It will either destroy him [Verstappen] or, even if he is successful right away, then F1 will be meaningless.”

“What will F1 be? It will be nothing. It doesn’t do any good for anyone,” he added. (AFP)