JUNE 7, 2012
Button a better package than Hamilton, says Villeneuve
Jacques Villeneuve, working as a TV pundit for Sky in Montreal this weekend, reckons that McLaren's Jenson Button is a better overall package than Lewis Hamilton.
The 1997 world champion said: "I would say Jenson is more complete. Lewis is slightly quicker in qualifying although Jenson has been in front sometimes, but it is not qualifying that wins you the championship.
"Ultimately, there have been a lot of drivers through the years who could do a quick lap but that's not what being an F1 driver means.
"Lewis is very quick in the races as well so they are both extremely talented. I just believe in the whole picture, everything that it takes to be an F1 driver, Jenson has a little bit more of everything. It balances out."
Speaking of Hamilton specifically, Villeneuve added: "I have never really known him personally so I really don't know how he has evolved psychologically and what could have happened through those years, but obviously it has had an effect, something has happened.
"His driving has changed, every year it seems to be a little bit different, either his drive or his passion, something that changes every year, it comes back, it, goes away so that's a little bit strange. We don't seem to get a constant.
"I don't mean consistency on the track, I mean consistency on how he wants it and what he wants, how he works, I guess."
"If you take Jenson, every year it's the same thing, the same guy, the same motivation and when the car's good he works at it and so on. It seems to be hit and miss with Lewis, that's all -- it doesn't seem to be always the same goal year after year."
On the subject of the drivers in general, Villeneuve thinks that there is not the same respect as there was between drivers of 20 or 30 years ago, "when there was a good chance you could die."
He added that today there are more 'daddy's boys' who have had things presented to them on a silver platter. He does not, however, put Fernando Alonso in that category.
"I have always been a big fan of Alonso because whatever the situation, whatever the car, whatever happens, he is always there fighting and minding his own business. He is there to race, he has worked hard to get to F1, it wasn't given to him on a silver platter and whatever the situation he always comes out, or most of the time comes out in a winning way compared to the equipment he has.
"You could see that when he was at Renault, you can see that at Ferrari, how it brings it forward -- so that's why right now he's up there."