Formula 1

F1 heading down the wrong path - Villeneuve

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The 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve has blasted the state of modern F1 pointing at so-called 'pay drivers' and the 'green' direction the sport is taking for the future.

In recent years the issue of 'pay drivers' has been a quiet taboo, with some questioning the decision of some teams to sign drivers based on the amount of sponsorship they bring as opposed to their talent.

"If even McLaren is going down this path, it's bad," Villeneuve told Sport Bild, referring to Sergio Perez who has the backing of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.

This week Red Bull's Mark Webber, another driver who is against the 'pay driver' trend, praised those driver's who had made it to F1 without substantial backing. One driver he mentioned was Finland's Valtteri Bottas, though Villeneuve has a different opinion on the Williams driver.

"It's terrible when I hear how happy they are with their driver Bottas," he said.

"Sorry, but finishing between 11th and 16th places is not doing a great job. They're saying it only not to upset the sponsor that he's bringing.

"The teams are killing, more and more, the image of Formula One that it once had," Villeneuve insisted.

Then the Canadian moved on to the state of modern F1 as a whole.

"It was once full of heroes, on the border of the possible, always extreme, technology and engineering on the limit, but always a logic to it.

"Formula One has gone the other way -- a fortune is still spent, but without logic," he said.

"Five engines per season, only one tyre maker, all the restrictions and the driver devices, the 'green' direction -- maybe this is Le Mans, but it's not Formula One," Villeneuve said.

Instead Villeneuve agreed with the idea that those teams who are struggling financially should simply leave the sport and have a number of healthy teams running three or four cars.

"Yes, absolutely, great," said the 42-year-old. "Why not three Force India cars and on each car a different sponsor?"

Though when argued that would be similar to the route taken by IndyCar and NASCAR he added: "Everything that comes from America doesn't have to be bad.

"It would be easier to find sponsors because it would be less expensive for them. And there would be no more team orders, because every sponsor would want their car to win.

"The cars would also be closer together, the gap between the front and the gap not so big, so the racing for the fans would be great," he added.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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