I’m almost loath to write another blog regurgitating nonsense that former Williams driver and 1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve has said in an effort to keep himself newsworthy, but I’m going to nonetheless, in the hope that one day someone will Google ‘Jacques Villeneuve Williams’ and they’ll end up here rather than on a site that considers anything he says as possessing a degree of credibility.
What seems to have happened is that JV has seen the new raft of changes to Formula 1 designed to make it easier for smaller, independent teams to dare dream of a podium, and his take home from that – rather than it being great for the sport that there’s increased competition for places and points, and for those teams not wishing to nestle inside a manufacturer’s back pocket, ensuring the health of a 20 car grid by taking steps to stop teams folding in the same way that the three newest entries did in the early part of the 2010s at the same time reining in the frankly outlandish spending of the top three teams – is that it gives Williams an unfair advantage that they don’t deserve.
He even goes as far as to brand the changes ‘pure socialism’.
“What’s the idea with helping the small teams who don’t deserve it?” he spaffed to Le Journal De Montreal.
“Does an organisation like Williams have the right to be as fast as Mercedes or Ferrari?”
“Frankly, the way they [Williams] have worked for a few years now, they’re not even in the same category.” he continued, seemingly unaware that nobody, least of all Williams, expects the new regulations to put them on a par with Ferrari.
His main bugbear seems to be with the Williams shareholders for taking a cut of the company’s profits ($16m he claims) while the team struggled on-track, which to be fair to Jacques, considering a lack of investment in aero has contributed to the team’s current plight, is a bit of a problem.
However, with F1’s unwieldy (and soon to be replaced) system of dishing out prize money, profits don’t directly correlate with current performances, and so shareholders are effectively being rewarded for successes of seasons past.
But with Williams’ profitability taking a serious hit by their lack of results of late their very survival is in question, and a bankrupt team makes its shareholders no pounds and no pence profit, so it’s as much in their interest to see the team thrive as it is F1’s to prevent any of its ten teams going to the wall.
He might struggle to find many people who agree with him that ‘F1 deserves better’ than to make a podium a realistic goal for teams without a bottomless pot of money.
If he’s bothered about people agreeing with him. Which he clearly isn’t as long as he’s harbouring clicks for anyone willing to give him column inches.