More widely, pundits are naming the Mercedes and Red Bull drivers as the likely pacesetters this year.
But 1997 title winner Villeneuve said fans should also be watching a red car.
“Sebastian’s driving style fits perfectly with the new cars,” he told Sport Bild.
“Not just that, he is the one who has done the most kilometers with the new tyres — by far. This is a clear advantage, especially at the beginning of the season,” said the former Williams driver.
Villeneuve, 45, also said he is looking forward to F1’s new technical regulations this year, featuring much faster cars and bigger, grippier tyres.
“Finally, the days are over when you could go straight from a tricycle to a formula one car,” said the French Canadian. “Now these cars need men, not kids.”