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F1 NEWS 

Villeneuve plays down Silverstone risk

Canadian Jacques Villeneuve has hit out at drivers worrying about the safety of the Silverstone circuit ahead of the British Grand Prix.

"Maybe they should stop driving in Formula One," said Villeneuve of the drivers who have expressed their concerns that the track was too risky. "We just raced in Monaco and no one complained and it was great.

"There is a small amount of risk but it is tiny and in the past there used to be 100 corners in a season with that amount of risk and 50 with more risk than that, and now there is just three during the whole season.

"It is not a big deal, just lift - you don't have to go flat."

McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya and Williams' Mark Webber said ahead of the British race that some of the run-off areas were not safe enough for the increased speeds experiences at the British circuit.

BMW driver Villeneuve said the Silverstone challenge is now very special.

"It is fantastic. It is fast," added Villeneuve. "You get in the car and you think, 'I really have to concentrate on this one and push myself, not just physically but mentally as well, getting to the corners and thinking, okay, my foot has to stay down now.' That is special, very special."

When asked what the biggest challenge was, Villeneuve said: "Copse. Why? Because it is a little bit like Eau Rouge used to be. The corner that you know is flat but it is hard for you to do it flat, it is hard for you to do it flat, it is hard to bring yourself to do it flat.

"But you know it, every lap you go okay next lap is flat, but each time somehow you foot comes off the throttle and that is what makes it exciting.

"I haven't done it flat yet, I went in flat and went off the track, I didn't crash, just went wide. But it will be flat this weekend, other people have done it flat I think. And flat means not braking with your left foot because that is not flat.

"The thing is with the way the cars are made now with traction control and everything, it is hard to go off. You can go off but it is a lot harder than it was in the past. I don't expect people going off, but you never know.

At last month's test at Silverstone, most drivers were normally using full throttle for 75 percent of the lap."

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