The 1997 World Champion is always good for an interesting opinion – I don’t think he even knows what it’s like to sit on a fence!
Now he’s weighed in on the situation at Force India, which hit a new low in the Belgian Grand Prix when Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon made contact with each other twice, costing the team valuable points yet again.
Villeneuve has come down hard on Perez, saying that he’s fully to blame for what happened and that his driving was not only unsporting, but also incredibly dangerous. Speaking to Motorsport.com, Villeneuve said:
“It doesn’t matter that it’s his teammate. Teammate, no teammate, it should not have happened between two drivers. You’re not so supposed to put anyone in danger. You can brake too late, make a mistake, fine, but down the straight you don’t weave and squish, you just don’t do that. It’s ridiculous.
A piece of carbon went outside of the track. You can hurt someone from the public. This has to be stopped. That kind of move from Perez is not racing, it’s pure blocking. You don’t do that. It’s aggressive. It’s dirty.”
It’s probably fair to say that Ocon wasn’t happy with his teammate’s driving either, jumping onto Twitter after the race to claim that he’d tried to kill him.
Damage limitation today, we were having a good race until Perez tried to kill me 2 times! Anyway he didn't manage to do so ending up P9😉! pic.twitter.com/00kmub96B4
— Esteban Ocon (@OconEsteban) August 27, 2017
Villeneuve said that Ocon had a right to be angry and praised him for his commitment to both moves.
“Ocon didn’t lift to prove a point, I guess. It’s ego, it’s an internal battle to see who would be the strongest in the team. There is this ego thing going on. Ocon was very ballsy, especially in the first one. Wow. He kept in it. That was impressive.”
The stewards elected not to penalise Perez for some reason, something Villeneuve is confused by, suggesting it’s another example of the inconsistent stewarding in Formula 1.
“This is the most dangerous thing you can do in racing and they never penalise that in F1. Sometimes, people crash into each other because they messed up their braking and their fighting. That should not be penalised but they penalise that because there was an accident.
This was embarrassing. They don’t give a penalty for it, especially when the FIA is pushing so much the safety. Even a four-year-old could see it. It’s ridiculous.”
I can’t help but think that slightly contradicts what he said about the clash between Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton in Baku, but then again, this is Jacques Villeneuve we’re talking about…