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Formula 1 News - April, 2008
Villeneuve, Frentzen, not Hamilton fans

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Apr.11 (GMM) Jacques Villeneuve, the 1997 world champion, has made it clear that he is not among McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton's legions of fans.

Speaking in Dubai, where he is again racing in the Speedcar stock car series, the French-Canadian singled out his current formula one favourites as Felipe Massa - his 2005 teammate at Sauber - as well as former double world champion Fernando Alonso.

Villeneuve, 37, said the clash between Spaniard Alonso and rookie Hamilton at McLaren last year was "in bad baste".

He thinks Hamilton did not show his experienced and successful teammate enough respect.

"It was just fitting that Hamilton treated Alonso with a little more respect," Villeneuve told the Gulf Times.

"I didn't like that sort of treatment, it was very disappointing to see it in the open," he added.

Villeneuve said Hamilton should have followed his example of 1996, when he entered formula one and was pitted at Williams alongside experienced veteran Damon Hill.

"I was there to learn and I wanted to learn, something that Hamilton did not show last season being in the company of a two-time world champion," he said.

Villeneuve even plays down the comparison between the Hamilton-Alonso spat and his fierce rivalry with Michael Schumacher in 1997.

"I always held him in respect," he insists, referring to Schumacher.

One of Villeneuve's contemporaries, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, similarly spoke out against Hamilton when he made his Speedcar debut in Bahrain last weekend.

The German, a winner of three grands prix, said he would gamble money that BMW-Sauber will get the upper hand on Mercedes-powered McLaren in the near future.

"Why? Because Nick Heidfeld is better than Lewis Hamilton," Frentzen, Heidfeld's teammate at Sauber in 2003, told Sport Bild.

"When there are three teams that are so close together, drivers that are able to push the development forward are even more important.

"To me, it is very clear that Heidfeld is the better one," he added.

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