Jacques Villeneuve does not believe that the current World Cup position in Formula 1 does justice to the relationship between Mercedes and Red Bull Racing. Max Verstappen leads the championship with a six-point lead over current world champion Lewis Hamilton, but Villeneuve says the Dutchman’s lead could have been greater.
“The position does not represent the current state and it really does not do Verstappen enough justice,” said the 1997 world champion in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport. Villeneuve cites the points of defeat that Verstappen had to face during the Great Prix of Great Britain and Hungary. In those races he was involved in crashes with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes respectively. Although he finished ninth in Hungary, the seventeen-time UK race winner did not cross the line.
“Mercedes had it easy there,” Villeneuve said. “Even though Hamilton was not particularly good at it. However, on the circuits that were already in Istanbul they were not fast enough or made mistakes. In any case, the drivers hardly differ from each other in the championship.
Villeneuve seeks an explanation for the high speed on straights
Therefore, Villeneuve finds it difficult to predict a world champion, precisely because Mercedes and Red Bull hardly differ from each other. “Red Bull and Verstappen have been practically flawless so far, while Mercedes seems to have a certain form of exhaustion,” the eleven-time winner of the race continues to analyze.
Villeneuve also saw how fast Mercedes and Hamilton in particular were on the straights at Istanbul Park. At times, his W12 drove twenty kilometers per hour faster than its competitors. “Perhaps they have damaged the engine because there are still few races (six, ed.) To go. If they continue like this, Hamilton can do well in Austin and Brazil, because speed on the straights is important there. “
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