Jacques Villeneuve is critical of Lewis Hamilton’s season, saying that the seven-time champion is not at his best.
Hamilton leads title rival Max Verstappen by two points after the Russian GP. Both drivers have been exceptional, bar the odd mistake at times. It is very much a coin toss as to who will take the title home.
The former F1 driver is of the opinion that Verstappen will be the one doing it. Villeneuve is critical of Lewis Hamilton’s season, saying that Hamilton has had a rude awakening of sorts.
“Verstappen is superior,” Villeneuve told Corriere della Sera, as reported by Planet F1.
“He didn’t make any real mistakes. He always went on the attack. Lewis instead showed weaknesses. And Mercedes as well, more than Red Bull.
“After Rosberg, he had an easy life. Maybe he fell asleep a bit, this year he woke up with a start. But he remains a phenomenon.”
Villeneuve also gave his verdict on the pair’s shunt at the British GP, which saw Verstappen get taken out of the race. Hamilton was deemed the guilty party and ate a ten-second penalty, but Villeneuve was not convinced by the decision.
“I don’t know, that was an unintentional manoeuvre as well,” Villeneuve remarked.
“It was a mistake and it annoys me that mistakes are punished. These two don’t manage to stay within the limit. Lewis usually doesn’t make these mistakes, it only happens to him with Max.”
“There were no such penalties (in my day). But it was different, we did the overtakes on the inside. Now they block you on the straight, they move, you’re forced to take extreme risks to pass and you can make mistakes.
“In this way, it’s difficult to establish the rules. At Monza, they were not clear,” he concluded, suggesting that even the Italian GP decision was a controversial one.