Villeneuve Reacts to Criticism

Former World Champion Jacques Villeneuve has reacted to criticism over his disappointing performance in the Australian Grand Prix, stating again that a poor tyre choice was entirely to blame

Villeneuve Reacts to Criticism

In a short Q&A with Villeneuve, conducted by his personal spokeswoman, Villeneuve also referred to criticism leveled at him from within Sauber, right after the race, with Peter Sauber expressing disappointment at the former Champion's form.

Q: What happened at the start of the race in Melbourne?

Villeneuve: "We did not have a clue on how the tyres were going to react simply because we did not test. We thought of getting heavy degradation on the rears during the race so we set the car up to compensate this with lots of understeer - so very little grip on the front. Therefore, our set-up, plus cold tyres on the first lap was just like driving on ice. I turned the wheel and the car kept going straight. It took half a lap and it got better."

Q: Why so far behind?

Villeneuve: "Losing places at the start was not so important, I knew we weren't very quick anyway. The worst came in the second half of the race: until my first pitstop my lap times were comparable with Felipe [Massa]'s with the same amount of fuel in the car. But after each pitstop, it was just getting worse. I had soft tyres and Felipe was on hard because we just wanted to compare the two. We now know better but I was not happy at the end of the race."

Q: We hear that the relationship is not at its best at Sauber?

Villeneuve: "I don't really want to comment on what we can read on websites and in the press this week. Sometimes it's good to read between the lines and it can be dangerous to give answers to things like that. I don't want to create any problems - all I want is to concentrate on my job with the team. You know, saying things like what we can currently read everywhere just irritates everybody and doesn't serve any purpose!"

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