Connect with us

F1 top news

F1 lost its gladiatorial spirit – Villeneuve



F1 lost its gladiatorial spirit - Villeneuve

F1 lost its gladiatorial spirit – Villeneuve

Jacques Villeneuve prefers the “excessive” F1 of the past, compared to today’s “sober” equivalent.

“It’s not boring,” said the 1997 world champion, “but it’s not the same.”

F1 has grown and evolved in the almost two decades since the French Canadian beat legend Michael Schumacher to the title, but the sport has found itself in a period of soul-searching amid declining spectator interest.

“It begs the question,” Villeneuve, now a television pundit, told La Presse newspaper in Montreal. “What do we want from F1?

“For me, this sober F1 is not excessive. For me it’s not gladiatorial, which is what made me love the sport. Often there was no real action but people recognised the talent and risk that these drivers were taking and playing with.”

Asked why F1 is lacking some of that today, 45-year-old Villeneuve answered: “Because it’s forbidden to hurt yourself, I guess.

“There is this position of the FIA to put an emphasis on road safety and use F1 to push that image.”

He said F1’s democratic voting systems have also hurt the sport, but said Force India and Sauber’s argument that huge budgets are to blame is not right.

“The budgets were always huge,” said Villeneuve. “Formula one is not socialism. If you’re not good enough, well, go home, that’s all.

“If you look at some small teams, like Manor or Sauber now, they don’t even try to be an F1 team, they are just trying to survive. F1 is a business — it was never the purpose to have everyone within the same second.”

The problem, Villeneuve argues, is that F1 has become not only obsessed with safety but also ‘the show’.

“We tried to turn F1 into a TV show, and that’s the big mistake. Now we have lots of passing but never on the edge of your seat, wondering if the driver will make the pass. There’s nothing exciting about it now.

“We have to stop saying that F1 is just a show. F1 is supposed to be extreme; it’s supposed to be expensive; it’s supposed to be something unreachable.

“It’s supposed to take a driver six months to be physically able to drive the car.

“No, F1 is now a show, F1 is the pinnacle of motor racing and a show in itself. In their day, everyone looked at Prost and Senna and said ‘In my life, I will never be able to do that’, and that was enough to make people dream,” said Villeneuve.


Latest Results

Latest F1 News

2018 F12 hours ago

Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne critical condition ‘irreversible’

Sergio Marchionne is in a coma in intensive care, according to reports from Italy. Ansa news agency reports that, after...

2018 F13 hours ago

Mercedes boss not accusing Ferrari of ‘illegal’ engine

Toto Wolff has played down reports Ferrari’s 2018 power unit could be ‘illegal’. “We do not ask ourselves that,” said...

2018 F18 hours ago

Race Analysis: 2018 German Grand Prix

  Lewis Hamilton won a chaotic German Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring circuit, starting from 14th on the grid, the...

2018 F118 hours ago

Hamilton escapes race ban penalty for pit entry incident

Lewis Hamilton has escaped a race ban penalty following the investigation by race stewards at Hockenheim summoned him over a...

2018 F120 hours ago

Hamilton’s German GP victory under threat

Lewis Hamilton’s German Grand Prix victory is under investigation following the race stewards at Hockenheim summoned him over a possible...

2018 F120 hours ago

Hamilton wins German GP from 14th as Vettel crashes out

Lewis Hamilton started from 14th on the grid to a 66th F1 career victory, and back into the lead of...

2018 F121 hours ago

Race Results – German Grand Prix

2018 F1 world championship results – Round Eleven – Results in 2018 German Formula 1 Grand Prix, Sunday Race results...

2018 F11 day ago

Mercedes’ paranoia: Blame and Acceptance

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton have had some interesting remarks about Ferrari, after the latter’s spurt in performance at the German...

2018 F11 day ago

F1 shocked as Ferrari president departs

The F1 paddock at Hockenheim is shocked that Ferrari’s president Sergio Marchionne has suddenly departed the team and formula one....

2018 F11 day ago

Starting Grid: German Grand Prix

The local hero, Sebastian Vettel took his 55th F1 career pole position in front of his home crowd at Hockenheimring...

Most Popular is not affiliated with Formula 1, Formula One Management, Formula One Administration, Formula One Licensing BV, Formula One World Championship Ltd or any other organization or entity associated with the official Formula One governing organizations or their shareholders. Copyrighted material used under Fair Use/Fair Comment.

We could use the following leading F1 news sources for stories: SkyF1, BBC F1, Autosport, ESPN F1, FIA Media Center, MotorSport, JamesAllen and others leading authors blog.

All Rights Reserved © 2017 Prime Sport Media