Jacques Villeneuve: victory will give Leclerc confidence

1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve commented on the events of the Austrian Grand Prix and praised Haas driver Mick Schumacher for the progress made in recent races.

Jacques Villeneuve: “I enjoyed the past weekend. The advantage of the sprint stage is that even if Saturday did not bring a good result, Friday is more fun on the track and the weekend more interesting.

I’ll start with the most unpleasant: the joyous cries of the fans after Lewis Hamilton crashed the car. No one knew what condition he was in, but they clapped. Lewis isn’t even fighting Max Verstappen this year.

You shouldn’t applaud when someone has an accident. I don’t understand this kind of misbehavior. The people who come to the stands must be real racing fans. Whatever you think of other riders, keep it to yourself.

Saturday’s sprint was great. The Ferrari drivers were fast and started fighting each other. In my opinion, Carlos Sainz misjudged the situation – I think he should have saved the tires and put pressure on Verstappen closer to the finish, along with Charles Leclerc.

On Sunday it became clear that the Ferrari was faster on a full tank, and Leclerc’s car accelerated better out of corners than Verstappen’s. Red Bull seemed a little unsure, trying to use an aggressive strategy to lure Ferrari into the pits, but the Scuderia didn’t back down.

Fortunately for Max, Carlos Sainz retired. For him this is a painful exit and the situation with the car rolling backwards looked dangerous. Halo makes it harder to exit the cockpit. And it’s not clear to me why the virtual safety car mode is on, instead of putting a real one on the track. This year I see no consistency in decision making. I think you should always let go of a safety car in a race. It’s just safer that way.

The win will give Leclerc confidence. Verstappen’s first overtake took place in a situation where both cars had the same amount of fuel and the same tires. We saw a great fight, but the subsequent overtaking came at the cost of a bigger difference in tire efficiency and at the expense of DRS when Verstappen was unable to defend.

During the race we saw that DRS is not always conducive to overtaking. The question is what we want from Formula 1. The rules for 2022 are designed to exclude DRS for the long term. But now we are all, just like the fans, used to DRS.

Let me end with a compliment and advice to Mick Schumacher. He has certainly made progress. I also criticized him for crashing the car a lot and forcing things, but now he’s really getting better. His fight with Hamilton on Saturday was just perfect.

However, when Mick catches up, he pushes the opponent off the track too much. Yesterday he did it several times, including with Fernando Alonso. Mick has to be careful, that’s his only flaw. He had good pace in the last races.”

Source: F1 News

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