Villeneuve: Vettel's behaviour was stupid
31 March 2013 – Former World Champion Jacques Villeneuve has added his name to the list of Sebastian Vettel critics after last weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, labelling the German driver's defiance of team orders as deliberate and stupid.
Vettel, who shunned instructions to hold position behind team-mate Mark Webber during the closing stages of the race, later apologised during icy podium and press conference interviews, but Villeneuve reckons the situation should never have arisen.
"It’s easy to make excuses," Villeneuve explained to German publication Auto Bild in the aftermath of the race. "But, in the end, Vettel’s got the victory and the points. Mark has nothing. It was a deliberate decision by Vettel. "The team give you the contract and pay you money, and so you do what they want you to do. It’s very simple."
Villeneuve went on to explain that Vettel’s choice could have a significant impact on the championship, warning his fellow title winner to expect little help from Webber.
"Ignoring is just plain wrong," added Villeneuve, who claimed the 1997 Drivers' crown with Williams. "(Vettel's) behaviour was just stupid. Such negative energy does not help the team. If he now needs help from Mark, he cannot be sure he will get it."
Villeneuve's father, Gilles, was killed in a qualifying accident at Zolder in 1982 while attempting to outpace then Ferrari team-mate Didier Pironi, who had defied orders at the San Marino Grand Prix a fortnight before to claim victory on the final lap of the race.