Feb.19 (GMM) Formula 1 was better when driver discipline was left up to the drivers rather than “too many rules and too many decisions”.
That is the view of outspoken 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve, who remembers a time when drivers were left to sort out grievances on the track.
“Today there is the action and the rules and the decisions. But there are too many rules and too many judgements,” he told Auto Plus.
“The slightest incident must be dissected,” the French Canadian added.
“It was much simpler when everything was left to the drivers, except in the most extreme cases. There was much less mess on the track back then.
“We could retaliate. A driver bothered you and if it was on purpose, you could return the favour the next lap and it was over. Now, these gestures are the most strongly repressed,” Villeneuve said.
He even names the contemporaries who changed that situation.
“Back then, no driver blocked another in a straight line. The first one to do this kind of thing was Jarno Trulli. And then Michael Schumacher.
“Finally, the phenomenon became widespread. Even the fans say ‘Ah, he didn’t defend his position!’ – as if it is mandatory to block your opponent. It became stupid,” said Villeneuve.