Jacques Villeneuve has slammed F1’s race director for starting the ‘jewel in the crown’ Monaco race last Sunday behind the safety car.
The 1997 world champion said it was “ridiculous” that just because it was raining in the Principality for the race start, the normal grid start was called off and the drivers did seven laps behind the safety car.
“Seven laps behind the safety car — that’s ridiculous,” Villeneuve, the 11-time grand prix winner who is now a pundit for Italian television, told the German-language Motorsport-Magazin.com.
“These are not tourists, they are the best paid drivers in the world.
“Formula one is already losing fans and things like this do not help at all because it makes the drivers look not like gladiators but weaklings,” the French Canadian charged.
45-year-old Villeneuve admitted that racing in the rain on a street circuit like Monaco is dangerous, but what happened on Sunday was not the right look for F1.
“It’s risky but they’re professionals,” he said. “Let them start, or change the rules so that we never start in the rain.”