Former Formula One World Championship Jacques Villeneuve admitted that he is surprised by Scuderia Ferrari’s impressive results achieved during the first four races of the 2017 F1 season. After three years during which Mercedes completely dominated the competition, the Maranello team is back and Sebastian Vettel is currently leading the world championship ahead of the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix:
“I admit to being surprised. My favourite for the title is Vettel. Ferrari is doing a very good job this season and Seb can handle the pressure.” – Jacques Villeneuve said, as reported by Italian F1 journalist Leo Turrini. The Canadian auto racing driver also defended Scuderia Ferrari’s other driver, Kimi Raikkonen, despite the fact that some people consider Kimi to be the number 2 driver: “Raikkonen is outstanding and much more than a number 2. It surprises me that people are so determined to not realise it. At most the difference between him and Vettel is one tenth per lap. He’s also the perfect teammate who never creates tension with the team.”
The French Canadian, who is currently a television pundit for Italian television, also said that he did not expect Valtteri Bottas to win the 2017 Russian Grand Prix: “I am also cautious. Sochi is his favourite circuit and he won’t be destroying Hamilton on every track like that. I also don’t know if he’s psychologically ready to fight for the championship.”
And Jacques Villeneuve also added that he would be surprised to see Red Bull Racing fighting for wins with Mercedes and Scuderia Ferrari by the end of this season, even though the team seems to have a major update planned for the next race: “They are too far back. Maybe they can win a race or two if they’re lucky, but with that car, I don’t see them at the level of Ferrari and Mercedes.” – the former Williams and British American Racing driver concluded.