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Villeneuve: 'F1 isn't the same'

2013-07-01 07:57

RACING NO LONGER THE FOCUS OF F1: Former Formula 1 driver and 1997 World champion Jacques Villeneuve says F1 isn’t focused on racing. Image: AFP

SILVERSTONE, England - Former Formula 1 driver and 1997 World champion Jacques Villeneuve is not a big fan of F1 because it's no longer "extreme".

Villeneuve still earns his living in the F1 paddock as an expert TV pundit,but he makes no secret that the sport has moved away from his passion.

'NO LONGER EXTREME'

Villeneuve said: "F1 has ceased to be extreme. 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, an F1 car in the race is slower than a GP2 car in qualifying - that is absolutely wrong. The way F1 has developed has been the wrong path and the situation is getting worse.

"In 2014 drivers will use only five engines for the whole season - 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 Villeneuve-like reasoning.

TOO MUCH POLITICS

Alex Wurz, a former F1 driver who currently leads Toyota's sports-car project, thinks the falling out with Sebastian Vettel also contributed to Webber's call.

Wurz said: "Mark is still hungry and I think he wants to go somewhere where it's all about the racing. 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 F1.

"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."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2013 F1 season – fresh reports every day.
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