Mar.8 (GMM) Jacques Villeneuve has sided firmly with Ferrari after F1’s highest profile driver move.
Over the winter, Fernando Alonso left the Maranello team and joined McLaren-Honda, who have struggled simply to run the new MP4-30 car.
And the Spaniard is now recovering from his mysterious Barcelona testing crash.
Villeneuve, the 1997 world champion, says Alonso’s relationship with Ferrari soured because the Spaniard was not loyal enough to the fabled team.
“The Italians loved Alonso,” he told Sport Bild, “but that love died very fast because he did not stand up for the team.
“Just because you make $30 million a year, does not mean you give up the responsibility to love your team. Where was the respect?
“I never criticised my team,” former Williams and Honda driver Villeneuve claimed, “no matter how bad the car was.
“I call it the ‘God complex’, but just when you think you’re on top of things, Vettel announced he was leaving Red Bull and the ground suddenly collapsed beneath Alonso’s feet,” he said.
“He was thinking more about Twitter and being a politician than team spirit.”
Villeneuve said Alonso’s behaviour contrasts sharply with his Ferrari successor, Sebastian Vettel.
“Last year Sebastian did not even properly criticise Red Bull, even though he should have done,” said the always-outspoken French Canadian.
“His attitude is reminiscent of Michael Schumacher — concentrate on driving and respect for your team. Make no problems if there are none.”
However, Villeneuve said Vettel cannot now be expected to emulate the dominance of the great Schumacher, as the basic philosophy of Ferrari has changed.
“The Jean Todt days are over,” he said. “The full concentration on one driver is in the past.
“Of course he can be competitive, but not as dominate as Michael,” Villeneuve added.