Villeneuve: Formula 1 no longer special
14 February 2014 – Jacques Villeneuve says Formula 1 is no longer special as a result of its latest regulation overhaul.
The 1997 World Champion, speaking after his seat in this year's World Rallycross Championship was confirmed, reckons the new turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 power plants, in conjunction with the strict fuel limit per driver, per race, will detract from the overall spectacle, and reiterated his dislike of overtaking aids DRS and ERS.
"With the engine regulations, everything is so restrictive that it's not F1 anymore, there's nothing special about it," said Villeneuve. "Conserving fuel is fine, and it was great in the past. The problem is that the drivers don't have to do it. It's all done electronically. You sit there and it saves fuel for you, and that defeats the purpose.
"The epic has been taken out of F1. The overtaking happens because you press a button, not because you make a special move. I'm a purist and I love the sport. I loved the 60s and 70s, when the fans even enjoyed the races where only four cars finished and they were two laps apart.
"You respected what the drivers had done, what they had achieved. They are making a lot of decisions that in the long run are not helping F1."
He added: "For the purist, I don't think [the 2014 season] will be a lot of fun or very exciting. But it could be unpredictable. We might even have a Marussia on the podium.
"The cars look terrible and they don't look easy to drive. And you can't tell if a driver is driving hard. I think it was wrong to take the decision to slow F1 down. It was much better in my day, when it was already a lot safer than it had been in the 70s and 80s but you could still drive crazy fast."