EXPERT OPINION: Former F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve has sided firmly with the Ferrari team and against ex-driver Fernando Alonso. Image: Newspress.
LONDON, England - Jacques Villeneuve, 1997 Formula 1 champion, has sided firmly with Ferrari since Formula 1's highest-profile driver moved to McLaren-Honda.
During the (northern) winter break Fernando Alonso left the Italian team and joined McLaren-Honda, which has struggled even to run the 2015 MP4-30 car.
And the Spaniard is now recovering from his mysterious crash during pre-season testing a the Catalunya circuit near Barcelona in Spain.
Villeneuve says Alonso's relationship with Ferrari soured because the Spaniard was not loyal enough to the team.
Villeneuve told Sport Bild: "The Italians loved Alonso but that love died very fast because he did not stand up for the team.
"Just because you make $30-million a year doesn't mean you give up the responsibility to love your team... where was the respect? I never criticised my team no matter how bad the car was.
"I call it the 'God complex' but just when you think you're on top of things Vettel announced he was leaving Red Bull and the ground suddenly collapsed beneath Alonso's feet - he was thinking more about Twitter and being a politician than team spirit."
NOT LIKE SCHUMACHER
Villeneuve said Alonso's behaviour contrasted sharply with his Ferrari successor, Sebastian Vettel. "In 2015 Sebastian did not even properly criticise Red Bull, even though he should have done," said the always-outspoken French-Canadian. "His attitude is reminiscent of Michael Schumacher - concentrate on driving and respect for your team. Make no problems if there are none."
However Villeneuve said Vettel could not now be expected to emulate the dominance of the great Schumacher, as the basic philosophy of Ferrari has changed.
"The Jean Todt days are over," he explained. "The full concentration on one driver is in the past.
"Of course he can be competitive - but not as dominant as Michael."Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 F1 season – fresh reports every day.