Jun.7 (GMM) The 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve has prefaced this weekend’s Canadian grand prix by admitting that he is no big fan of today’s Formula One culture, but will nevertheless be attending this weekend’s F1 race, held in Montreal at the circuit named in honour of his late father.
Race organisers intend to mark the 30th anniversary of legendary Gilles Villeneuve’s death.
“There’s something planned, but I would like to keep it a surprise,” promoter Francois Dumontier told the Montreal Gazette.
Villeneuve, 41, recently marked the anniversary by driving one of his father’s old Ferraris at the Italian marque’s Fiorano test track. He will be at his home race this weekend as a guest pundit for British television Sky.
But he has kicked off his involvement by slamming the 2012 spectacle, including the Pirelli tyre lottery and “daddy’s boy” drivers.
"Jacques Villeneuve hits out at the current crop of F1 drivers for treating the sport 'like a video game'"Comparing today’s crop with his father’s era, Villeneuve said: “They weren’t racers at 12 years old, the financing there in place for them to race.”
“They had to sweat for it, they weren’t little daddy’s boys like you have now basically. They are driving F1 and they are still children, they are still babies and they are kept like that,” said the former Williams, BAR, Renault and BMW driver.
The winner of 11 grands prix also admitted he is not particularly enjoying the big impact of Pirelli’s heavily-degrading and difficult to understand control tyre.
“I am not a huge, huge fan right now,” said the French Canadian. “There is very little the drivers can do, the tyres just suddenly disappear and that doesn’t seem to be to the level that F1 should be at.”
Villeneuve said he does not agree it is a good thing that ‘underdogs’ like Pastor Maldonado are considered perennial contenders for race wins.
“It is always fun to see an underdog beat the establishment but it is something that happens once in a while. Now it seems to be almost a constant. It is not logical, the best should win,” Villeneuve insisted.
He also slammed F1′s new generation for not taking the risks of F1 seriously enough.
“When you see Bruno Senna in Barcelona, he is not in the same race, he is going appallingly slow and he is blocking guys who are fighting for the points,” he said, referring to the Brazilian’s crash with Michael Schumacher.
“That is just not intelligent driving for starters. But secondly, when you do a little twitch down the straight, that is just wrong.”