Villeneuve criticised by Norris, Hamilton for young driver comments

Formula 1 drivers have rubbished a suggestion from 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve that young drivers are taking more risks because they are used to the safe environment of simulators

Villeneuve criticised by Norris, Hamilton for young driver comments

Villeneuve told Belgian channel RTBF, in the wake of Anthoine Hubert's fatal crash in the Spa Formula 2 race, that he believed the increased use of simulators had left young drivers fearless about the consequences of accidents.

"Instead of letting the young drivers test, they sit for a week in the race simulator," said Villeneuve.

"When they get to the racetrack, they behave as if they're still in the simulator.

"It is not the same stress as it used to be. It does not bring the same adrenaline.

"The assessment of danger, of the enormous risk that they take when they go to the racetrack, is no longer the same."

But those comments did not go down well with McLaren's Lando Norris, who said linking the Hubert accident to sim-racing was just an "excuse" for criticising the practice.

"I don't think it's got anything to do with sim racing," said Norris, when asked about what Villeneuve had said.

"It's just something he maybe wants to use as an excuse for it.

"Safety is getting much better, especially compared to when he would have been racing.

"It's not like we completely forget it. We don't go flat out and not care about anything. We still realise what danger is.

"Everything is getting safer, so sometimes you take more risks than at other times.

"I don't know what happened on the weekend, and I don't want to talk about it, but I'm sure it wasn't anyone doing anything stupid or risking anything.

"I think it was something small that turned into something pretty big. I don't think it's because we're younger, more fearless, less fearless. It's unlucky. That's about it."

World champion Lewis Hamilton also dismissed Villeneuve's comments.

"I don't really agree with a lot of the opinions of that individual and I don't know if anyone [does]," he said when asked about the remarks.

"I personally don't listen to that individual's opinion.

"But [on the simulator link] I don't think so. If you look at the kids on the ski slopes, from small up they have no fears and it is the same with us race drivers, whatever age.

"I am sure as you get a bit older it [fear] creeps in, but the simulators don't make you more or less fearful. I don't agree with that, no."

shares
comments
"Strange games" predicted for Monza F1 qualifying

Previous article

"Strange games" predicted for Monza F1 qualifying

Next article

Sainz: Hubert tragedy has changed Formula 1 run-off debate

Sainz: Hubert tragedy has changed Formula 1 run-off debate
Load comments
The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory Plus

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon at the returning Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement Plus

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021