Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Buddh International Circuit, 2012

Villeneuve criticises Vettel in Italian magazine

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Buddh International Circuit, 2012In the round-up: Jacques Villeneuve tells Italian magazine Autosprint he is supporting Fernando Alonso and believes Sebastian Vettel is not as cool-headed as his Ferrari rival.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Vettel reacts like a child – Villeneuve (Autosport)

“Alonso remains calm, cool, and rational, while Vettel most times gets upset, angry, screams and flicks the middle finger. He reacts like a child.”

The interview was conducted by Autosprint but their website repeatedly failed to load for me when I looked for the original article.

Sebastian Vettel will be at Red Bull in five years, hints Christian Horner (Daily Mail)

“Sebastian has been involved with Red Bull since he was 12 years of age. His only successes have come with Red Bull. He feels comfortable in the environment. He trusts in the people and we’re bringing the best out of him as well and he is happy”

Aktuelle Vorabmeldungen (Die Zeit, German)

Daimler Chairman and Mercedes-Benz Dieter head Dieter Zetsche says his F1 team must improve.

U.S. Grand Prix, ready or not, it’s time to race (AutoWeek)

Circuit of the Americas partner Bobby Epstein: “I’ve never been involved in a venture where we have to sell tickets. Will people buy them? And if they do, will they come? And if they come, will they have a good time? I’ve never had to worry about that before.”

Renowned racing doctor to head COTA medical centre (Austin Business Journal)

Dr Steve Olvey, who spearheaded advancements in safety during his time working for CART and Champ Car, is the chief medical officer for the United States Grand Prix. His book Rapid Response is a excellent read which includes a fascinating account of how Alex Zanardi survived the crash at Lausitzring in 2001 which severed both his legs:

As F1 race approaches, critics see traffic, trouble and outrage (Austin-American Statesman)

“It?s impossible to know how many people think Austin would be better off without F1. They tend to be more vocal than those who are merely irritated at the inconveniences the race will bring, such as traffic and noise, and the accompanying downtown extravaganza.”

Lewis has been practising for US GP… on his PS3 (The Sun)

“I?m made up we?re going back to the States. I?ve only driven the track on the PS3 and simulator ? but I think it?s going to be a track that drivers enjoy.”

Westboro Baptists Hate Formula One (The Austin Chronicle)

“Innovative hate-monger Fred Phelps is unleashing his offspring and assorted ill-wishers on Austin.”

The Star Spangled Grand Prix (F1 Speedwriter)

“In Detroit the hope that some of the imported European glamour and sophistication would revitalise the inner city’s urban blight was sabotaged by those in the F1 press corps who dubbed the race ‘The Murder City Grand Prix’ and suggested that sounds of gunfire might drown out the engine noise.”


Comment of the day

Roger_E doesn’t go along with Martin Whitmarsh’s view that the recent changes made to F1 will make it more appealing to American viewers:

The thing to remember is that over here we already have NASCAR using artificial things to spice up races and those who don?t like the artificiality of NASCAR have always tended to look at either IndyCar or F1.

As a result those who turned away from NASCAR for using artificial things will almost certainly not like F1 trying the same.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Loki and Tom Watson!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Gerhard Berger won the Australian Grand Prix for Ferrari 25 years ago today.

With F1 heading into its final season with turbo engines this marked the final race for two turbo power plants.

McLaren’s TAG Porsche units had been hugely successful, powering 25 Grand Prix wins, three drivers’ championships and two constructors’ titles.

However the Motori Moderni engines used by Minardi had been conspicuously less successful, failing to score a point in their 44 appearances.

This was also the last race for a BMW-badged turbo engine, though the company later returned to F1 and their turbo engines were badged as Megatron the following year. Here’s an onboard shot from the Brabham-BMW of Andrea de Cesaris as he blasts out of the pit lane at terrifying speed in the days before they were restricted:

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

137 comments on “Villeneuve criticises Vettel in Italian magazine”

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  1. No I’m totally with Villeneuve on this one. I mean, Vettel, ok, so he holds the record for the youngest person to score championship points, lead a race, win a race, and score pole position, and became the world’s youngest world champion one year, and the world’s youngest double world champion the next year, and looks likely to be the world’s youngest triple world champion in the next few weeks. Yeah, ok, so he may well have won over a quarter of the F1 races he’s taken part in, scored 35 career pole positions to date and proved his quality by helping win the Nations cup in the annual Race of Champions for the past five years running, I totally accept all of that. And off the track, yes, ok, I accept that he’s probably one of the most entertaining, erudite people when giving interviews, and has a tireless work ethic which sees him visiting the factory more often than virtually any other driver on the grid, and made him the only driver to bother paying a visit to Pirrelli to speak to them about the new tyres, but having said ALL OF THAT, I think he’ll never really be a decent racing driver while he still get occasionally hot headed when talking on the radio or reacting in the heat of the moment.

    And while we’re talking about people who are overrated, what about Jesus, yeah? I mean, ok, sure, he cured the blind, walked on water, fed the masses with a loaf and a fish, while spreading a message of tolerance, charity, and forgiveness, which has inspired some of the greatest acts of compassion in human history, but I ask you this – would he have been able to do any of those things without being the son of God? I know it’s very easy to criticize Judas for what he did, but he never had any of the perks from which Jesus benefitted. Frankly, with God as a parent, virtually anyone would have been able to accomplish what Jesus did. And that’s before we even start on how he conducted himself while nailed to the crucifix. All that whining and moaning, that’s when we see his true character. Sure, it’s easy to look good when there’s nobody able to stop you from performing miracles, but look at how he acts the moment that someone so much as drives rusty iron spikes through his hands and feet before hoisting him 20 feet into the air to die a slow and agonising death. For me, I don’t really see how anyone can take him seriously as a Messiah until he proves he can perform miracles without Divine assistance, and conduct himself in a calm and dignified manner while suffering one of the cruellest methods of execution ever devised.

    1. @MazdaChris After comparing Vettel to Jesus, I’m afraid you’re on Mr. Phelps’ black list, just below gay F1 fans.

      1. @girts Hey, anything which aligns me against hardline religious nutjobs is fine in my book.

        But my point, if perhaps lost a little in sarcasm, is that it doesn’t really matter how good you are, or how successful, there will always be people out there looking to discredit your achievements. In the case of JV, it sounds a lot more like sour grapes than anything else. Hopefully Vettel just does what everyone else does, and tunes his critics down to mere background noise. Frankly, if I were Vettel I’d just be like “I’m sorry? No, sorry, I can’t hear you over the noise of HOW AWESOME I AM!” and that would be that.

        1. “Frankly, if I were Vettel I’d just be like “I’m sorry? No, sorry, I can’t hear you over the noise of HOW AWESOME I AM!” and that would be that.

          Yeah that would really show the world his maturity and endear everyone to him.

          I’m sure SV will not be affected one iota by JV’s opinion, as it is merely that…an opinion… and needn’t be over-reacted to. He also calls SV an ace and unbeatable when leading. How that discredits his achievements is beyond me. But I guess it’s just an opinion that should also be discounted given the source. In fact SV is no ace and is highly beatable when leading. The horror…the sour grapes…

      2. @MazdaChris Yeah, I got your point, well written.

        Vettel sometimes looks like a character from the Looney Tunes to me but that doesn’t diminish the value of his great achievements. I believe that Vettel’s role in leading the team and the development of the car is often underestimated, too.

        I also don’t think that Alonso is more mature than Vettel.

        1. @girts

          Well, I wouldn’t necessarily disagree that Vettel isn’t as mature as Alonso, but then Alonso is 31 and Vettel is 25. Who wouldn’t, looking back, say they were less mature in their 20s than their 30s? But I don’t know that I agree that Vettel’s occasional hot headedness is specifically an issue of maturity, rather a difference in character between the two men. Some people are quick to react while others are more measured, and those traits tend to stay with them for life. Maybe Vettel will cool down a bit as he gets older, but I don’t think he necessarily needs to in order to be successful. In fact, he definitely doesn’t, after all he’s already way more successful than Villeneuve ever was. So by what measure if Villeneuve in a position to criticise? And what exactly is JV suggesting that Vettel stands to gain by ‘maturing’ in the way that he suggests? Vettel is already nearly a three time world champion, and there’s every likelihood that this time next year we’ll be talking about him winning his fourth. When Vettel eventually hangs his helmet up and retires at some point in the future, he’ll look at his enormous trophy cabinet, think about all the records he’s broken along the way, and he’ll look back on this point in his career when he was apparently ‘too immature’ and I wonder, will he have regrets about it? I suspect not, personally.

          JV also blatantly twists the truth. He says that Vettel “lost control of his car and crashed” while under the safety car. That’s not the case at all. He didn’t lose control of the car, he took avoiding action. Yes, avoiding action because he wasn’t paying enough attention to the driver in front, but that’s very different to losing control. And he hit a foam track marker, which he wouldn’t have hit had it been two metres up or down the road. The only reason it had any consequences at all was because the wing was already damaged. So to point this out as some kind of justification for calling him immature is ludicrous. A bit absent minded, perhaps, but it was a split second mistake which circumstance happened to turn into something with more severe consequences. It was, in actual fact, a bit of bad luck. Something you really can’t account for, unfortunately.

          Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of the hordes of Vettel lovers who think he can do no wrong; he can get even stronger in the future. But you really can’t argue with the results he’s generated so far in his career.

          1. I think JV is a proven WDC who is merely providing his opinon on SV’s maturity level vs. FA’s…and many seem to agree with it. I don’t see anywhere where JV is diminishing SV’s accomplishments other than when he points out the reality of how SV had a ragged portion of the race and safety car help when he came from the back of the pack in the last race. Nor do I see how the count on SV’s success, be it by numbes or age, diminishes the fact that JV is also a rare WDC owner who had a good car for 2 years and nearly came out with 2 WDC’s, in his rookie and second years in F1, having come from winnning CART rookie of the year and then the Championship and the Indy 500 in his second.

            He also calls SV an ace, and says he is practically unbeatable when leading. Just that he doesn’t keep as cool a head as the likes of FA right now, and JV respects FA more and thinks he deserves the title more, no doubt in JV’s opinion because he has shown maturity in spite of having to live with a lot of frustration in a lesser car while at the same time bringing it down to the last races with SV. And when SV reaches that level of maturity I have no doubt that then when he is asked to provide his opinion on SV at that time, he will acknowledge that SV has matured. I don’t see the big deal or the controversy nor the need for the diatribe of sarcasm.

    2. Brilliant comment. If I hadn’t lost my imaginary hat would have taken it off for you;)

    3. @mazdachris
      Haha! Fantastic comment! : )

  2. I only found this link to Polish F1 talks for it so far, but the FOTA Austin forum video footage offers some real nuggets.

    My Favourites are in the discussion about the KERS/Hybrid in the first panel, then Heikki mentioning his greatest moment in Racing, i.e. beating Schumi in the ROC. Oh, and his answer to what he will be doing next year and on going for an overtake make me pretty sure he won’t be racing next year.

      1. @bascb did you get video? I get only sound and a black picture…

        1. worked for me, yeah. I did have to reload it at least once between watching the different video’s though @mustalainen

          1. @bascb hmm, okay. Lets hope it will find its way onto youtube later

          2. @mustalinen, or maybe try and view it on the polish site I found it on first, that one works, although it seems they have the 2nd part 2 times and hte 3rd part is missing.

    1. Maybe the best part is the 3r. I love the way Hulme describes the “Ballbreaker first corner”, the wide corner 2 and wide hairpin bound to tempt drivers to all sorts of stupid moves!

    2. Have a look at those @keithcollantine and anyone from the US, at about 30 minutes into the panel 3 video Hulme gives some information on what NBC are planning for next year, he goes on to say that today there will be more known. Almost as if he is part of that deal.

      1. sorry what David Hobbs says

  3. american media not reporting anything about the race, if your not an f1 fan here in the us you won’t know the race is on-

  4. I think that we need to take the Villeneuve interview with a bit of perspective. Slating him for his sad end to his career is easy. He obviously wasn’t an all time great and had he started his career in a McLaren, for example taking DC’s place then F1 would be a very different place I imagine. However, we must remember that this is an interview with an Italian publication regarding a Ferrari driver. We must also remember that his father is the most loved Ferrari driver ever. He was never going to side with Vettel.

    With regard to Vettel staying with Red Bull in five years, I think this is wishful thinking at its pinnacle. Alonso and, to an extent, Hamilton joined McLaren for their love of Senna. Neither had any qualms admitting to this. Vettel, as a German, growing up in the heyday of Schumacher must have positive feelings to the Maranello. No driver would turn down Ferrari. And in all honesty, we don’t know what the next bubble will be and how the teams will react to the engine changes. Even the gear ratio limitation and inevitable consequential penalties will shape future championships. While this is no doubt the Newey era, it will pass. Nothing is more certain than that.

  5. He speaks the truth, Vettel is very much like a child when things don’t go his way. I think we’ll hear some very interesting stories that show Vettel in a different light from his friendly ‘tv’ persona when he leaves Red Bull.

    1. He speaks the truth, Vettel is very much like a child when things don’t go his way.

      So are the much older guys like “hafta”-Alonso and “what an idiot”-Button.

  6. JV is really just getting more and more dreary.
    I will admit that Vettel have acted childish at times, but how is Alonso any better?
    Alonso is a lot older then Vettel and has a lot more experience so everyone would expect a difference in their behaviour. Anything else would be unnatural really.
    But you don’t have to go far back to see the childish Alonso either. The Bahrain GP and his comments about leaving a space. In the heat of the moment, I accept that, but hardly the most cool headed team radio I have ever heard. Another is Valencia 2010 when Alonso kept raving about where Hamilton where after he felt he was robbed by the SC-line. If he was as mature as JV suggests, then he would have got his head down and worked with what he had instead of complaining.
    Then “this is ridiculous” in Germany 2010 when Massa defended the lead.
    Or weaving his hand at Petrov after Abu Dhabi in 2010, and his comments afterwards suggesting that other drivers shouldn’t get involved in the title fight.
    Then lets not get into details with 2007, that would take WAY too long.
    And in his Renault days he was also quite fond of the middle finger.
    My point is, I agree that Vettel can be childish at times, but then to use Alonso as a yard stick.. That is what gets me. To me, it just doesn’t make sense. Yes Alonso seems like the most cool headed of the current top drivers, but he has also been through a lot more then both Hamilton and Vettel and the latter, I think, isn’t far off him right now. Considering how Alonso has acted, even after he had been crowned a double world champion, then I don’t think that you can hold it against Vettel. To me, Vettel actually seems more cool headed now, then Alonso did when he was the reigning back to back champion.

    1. I think 2007 can be summed up with qualifying in Hungary (IIRC), where Alonso threw a fit and wouldn’t let Hamilton box during qualifying. The points he lost there, with the 5 place grid penalty, were enough to make him WDC.

      Yes, cool and calm Fernando, tossing his toys and a 3rd WDC out of the pram. Haven’t seen Vettel do that.

    2. @mads…JV is using FA as a yardstick because it is he that is vying for the title this year with SV, and nobody else. Why wouldn’t Autosport ask him about these two drivers at this stage of this season?

      Did you notice you are actually agreeing with JV?

      “I agree that Vettel can be childish at times”

      “Yes Alonso seems like the most cool headed of the current top drivers”

      So JV is more a FA fan. Many are. What’s the big deal? He even calls SV an ace and practically unbeatable when he leads. JV’s is not asking that SV’s wins and WDC’s be repealed. ie. he isn’t diminishing SV’s accomplishments…just prefers FA’s maturity level and no doubt the fact that he has kept a cool head…no doubt from he himself also maturing over the years such that he has been cooler with a much more frustrating and lesser car than SV has had this year. I think of it like JV is pointing out SV has had less to complain about car-wise, and yet when the chips have been down SV has shown a level of maturity that JV knows is below what some display in their careers. JV too no doubt matured over the years…we sure know he has seen the highest highs and the lowest lows F1 can provide, including his father’s death, so I think JV has all kinds of street cred (read track cred) to provide an opinion on what he likes to see in a driver when asked.

  7. For all those taking the truth of JV as gospel as it relates to Vettel’s behavior, they then need to digest this little nugget and it’s implications:

    “Many just draw him [Newey] as a genius, while that’s just a part of his immense power of team leader,” he said. “He isn’t a know-it-all who creates a winning car and pretends that anyone wins with it.

    “In truth he is perhaps the humblest technician, the one that listens more to his drivers. The years and wins gone by haven’t changed him: he never pontificates, he holds talks.”

    JV says Newey relies on a lot on driver input. Hmmm. And folks says Newey tailors the car to Seb’s style, and hence Seb’s input. Must mean with the successes the RB 5-8 have had, Seb has helped developed the best car of the last 3.5 years. Not sure what Hamilton or Alonso have been doing ;)

    Jacques says it, so it must be true. (and I’m sure no one can actually deny that Newey works exactly as JV indicates.)

    1. Jacques says it, so it must be true.

      Taken out of context, one would instantly assume it was said with a veeeeery healthy dose of irony ; )
      But you are probably right that on that subject he might actually know something.

      1. JV saying AN listens to the drivers moreso than other technicians, and JV would know, does not equate to SV developing the best car. It equates to AN surrounding himself with the TEAM which includes SV and MW, and they all devolope the car, as opposed to him being a prima donna and dictating the way it will be.

  8. Villeneuve’s an idiot.

    Remember Vettel’s what, 25? He’s still incredibly young in comparison to the likes of Alonso, who was also hot-headed back when he was young, as most young drivers are while still maturing. Alonso has had his silly outbursts this season also, should people have already forgotten. These drivers are designed to win, and they will turn around and say something daft whenever things don’t go right for them, like it was with Hamilton last year, Alonso in 2007, and Vettel at times this year. So what? Do you expect them all to be absolutely calm 24/7 when they have so much media attention surrounding them??

    1. JV is no idiot…he is a proven WDC and someone who knows a ton more about F1 than most, and has provided his opinion when asked by Autosport, who obviously value his experience. I’m sure JV would acknowledge that we all mature with age. He is speaking of the current setting as FA and SV sit vying for the WDC this year with two races to go. The only two contenders for it. And he happens to be more for FA, as are millions. What’s the big deal? He’s not asking for SV to hand back his successes…just saying that he sees room for SV to mature. And SV likely will, and I’m sure if at that time JV is asked, and I think they should keep asking him given the interest his comments generate, I’m sure JV will acknowledge that indeed SV has matured.

      1. @robbie

        provided his opinion when asked by Autosport, who obviously value his experience

        He was asked by Autosprint, not Autosport.

        And I don’t think it’s outrageously cynical to suggest that what they valued was not so much his experience as the opportunity to write a story heavily critical of Alonso’s main championship rival.

        1. Hmmm…ok. Don’t know why it says near the top of the page “Villeneuve (Autosport)” then. Perhaps that should be changed.

          Also, I don’t see how JV is being ‘heavily critical’ of SV. Sure he gives him a shot, but he also calls him an ace and almost unbeatable when he leads a race. At the same time I don’t see JV putting FA on a god-like pedestal…he just thinks he has kept a cooler head when if anyone should have lost it a few times for having a lagging car it should be FA.

  9. I guess F1 should be honoured that the Westboro folks are going to try and upstage the race. Only the best events are guaranteed that level of idiocy.


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