Villeneuve backs 'aggressive' new-look F1
9 March 2017 – 1997 Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve has backed the sport's "aggressive" new era, praising the decision to enable drivers to push for longer with more durable tyres.
Villeneuve has previously been critical of Formula 1's direction, claiming it was not "extreme" enough, while drivers have had to conserve rubber since Pirelli's entry into the sport.
However, in a change from the directive issued since 2011, Pirelli has been tasked with producing durable rubber, with drivers having carried out consistent, long stints during testing.
Lap times have also tumbled during the pre-season at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, achieving the five second drop compared to 2015, which was targeted by the sport's chiefs.
"What I've seen so far in testing has been very positive," Villeneuve said in a video produced by Pirelli.
"The cars look amazing, it looks like big, tough Formula 1, so that's a very good step.
"Also, the way the tyres are working, which was sometimes a problem in the past where the drivers could not be aggressive and attack on the tyres.
"It's a tyre where the drivers can actually be aggressive and play on the track which means less pit-stops."
Villeneuve believes the move towards more durable tyres will be beneficial for the top drivers.
"It will not please everyone but less pit-stops also means a bigger window for strategy and easier to understand what's happening in the race," he added.
"But [it also means] drivers can now enter a corner a little bit sideways and not destroy the tyre and still be aggressive, so that should be good for the good drivers."