1997 F1 champion Villeneuve believes modern drivers lack respect

Modern Formula 1 drivers lack respect for their rivals, 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve believes

1997 F1 champion Villeneuve believes modern drivers lack respect

Speaking at Autosport International, the Canadian likened F1 racing to a video game and said improved safety had negatively impacted the way drivers race each other.

In comparing current F1 with the era in which his father Gilles raced, Villeneuve said: "Because the cars were dangerous and it was difficult to overtake there was a lot more respect between drivers.

"You never saw drivers weave down a straight line.

"You never saw a driver brake on the inside of the track, he would keep line, brake on outside and try and brake later.

"It was clean and respectful.

"They banged into each other but they were mistakes.

"Now, you see a video game, where drivers think they are inside a video game.

"There is no respect. What is respect? It's not even in their dictionary.

"Everything is fine - you can't get hurt."

Villeneuve believes F1 started going downhill when the championship's bosses started listening to what the fans wanted.

One reaction was the introduction of the DRS overtaking aid in 2011, which has increased the number of passes significantly but reduced the quality.

"The fans kept complaining and saying 'there's not enough overtaking, there's not enough of this, not enough of that'," he said.

"By listening to that, what did F1 do? 'OK, let's have DRS, we'll have a hundred overtakings in a race'.

"But name me one overtake that you remember since DRS? You don't.

"With DRS, it's a case of, 'OK let's not take a risk, let's just push a button'.

"Now you see cars overtake on a highway, you don't see proper racing because of that. We get a tonnes of overtaking but its boring. It defeats the purpose.

"In motorbike race, sometimes it takes a rider 10 laps to overtake, but in these laps, you see the work that goes into it."

Villeneuve added there is too great an emphasis placed on technology in F1.

"Take the engine, it's beautiful technology, but it's for engineers - it shouldn't be in F1," he said.

"It doesn't bring anything.

"Take it away, it should't be there, it's crazy engineering.

"I wouldn't want it on my road car."

shares
comments
Renault introducing new Formula 1 ERS for 2017 season

Previous article

Renault introducing new Formula 1 ERS for 2017 season

Next article

Williams wants to do 'right thing' for Mercedes F1 target Bottas

Williams wants to do 'right thing' for Mercedes F1 target Bottas
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve
Author Lawrence Barretto
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Plus

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well-aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead on pace. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Formula 1
Apr 15, 2021
Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021