JUNE 30, 2013
F1 no longer extreme says Villeneuve
1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve is no big fan of today's formula one.
These days, the French-Canadian still earns his living in the paddock as an expert television pundit, but he makes no secret that the sport has moved away from his passion.
"Formula one has ceased to be extreme," he told the Russian website f1news.ru.
"Engines lasting only one race (is extreme), you know? Tyres wearing out quickly because they're so fast, not because they're not strong enough.
"Sometimes, now, a formula one car in the race is slower than a GP2 car in qualifying -- that is absolutely wrong," Villeneuve charged.
"The way formula one has developed, for me has been the wrong path, and the situation is only getting worse in the future.
"Next year, drivers will use only five engines for the whole season -- in my view, it's becoming more like endurance racing."
There is a feeling in the paddock that fellow purist Mark Webber's decision to quit F1 and join Porsche at Le Mans is also due to a Villeneuve-like line of reasoning.
Alex Wurz, a former F1 driver who currently spearheads Toyota's sports car project, thinks the falling out with Sebastian Vettel also contributed to Webber's call.
"Mark is still hungry and I think he wants to go somewhere where it's all about the racing again," Wurz told German broadcaster Sky.
"The world endurance championship is simple; all the drivers are paid to drive, the racing is the focus; there's much less politics than in formula one.
"I'm convinced Webber has had enough of the politics, which I can understand because I felt the same when I finished my F1 career.
"I have no doubt he will have lots of fun in the WEC," Austrian Wurz added.