Jacques Villeneuve slammed the race directors for the conservative way in which they handled they Safety Car at the 2022 Italian Grand Prix, more suitable for endurance racing, not Formula 1.
The Safety Car (SC) was brought on lap 48 of 53 to remove Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren that grounded into a halt from the track, but the process took too much time and the race was finished behind the SC.
Villeneuve, the 1997 F1 Champion, was not impressed in the manner by which the SC was managed as he reflected on a “really horrible race” in his formule1.nl column.
“I thought the Italian Grand Prix was a really horrible race,” he said. “I think it was especially sad for the tens of thousands of people who had bought very expensive tickets. They didn’t get a show, or a finish: in fact, nothing at all.
“This race was not captivating,” Villeneuve added. “There was no strategic fighting, no battles on the track. It was empty, especially when you compare it to everything we have seen this year. We wanted more, but we didn’t get it.
Race management was substandard
“This was partly due to the substandard race management,” the Canadian claimed. “It had already not been very strong this year, but this was a new low.
“A race should be exciting and aggressive, and it should be managed accordingly. We are not in endurance racing, this is Formula 1!
“A race should never, ever end behind the safety car,” Villeneuve believes. “So many things could have been done differently: a red flag, sending the stragglers on earlier…
“There was enough time, we could have raced two more laps. It made me realise that last year was not that bad, after all,” he declared, hinting at the controversies that surrounded former Race Director Michael Masi’s work.
“Mistakes were made, but there was always the intention to get racing again as soon as possible. Yesterday it seemed as if this was not important – incredible to see.
“This was not right, such a finish should be avoided,” the 11-time race winner maintained.