Jacques Villeneuve issues blunt response to continued Max Verstappen dominance

Jamie Woodhouse
Max Verstappen arriving at Silverstone. July 2023.

Max Verstappen arriving at Silverstone. July 2023.

As the debate rumbles on regarding whether the Max Verstappen dominance is healthy for Formula 1, 1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve asks “who cares?”

Verstappen re-wrote the history books at the Dutch Grand Prix as he matched Sebastian Vettel’s record of nine wins in a row, and there is very little evidence to suggest the Red Bull driver will not make it 10 with victory at the upcoming Italian Grand Prix.

His Red Bull team are also on a record-breaking run of dominance, having now delivered 14 grand prix victories in succession.

Jacques Villeneuve lauds Max Verstappen at wheel of Red Bull RB19

With no other driver getting a look in on the victory scene right now, that has understandably led to debate over whether such one-driver domination has a positive impact on Formula 1?

Villeneuve though does not believe such thoughts should even come into the equation, and instead we should be marvelling at the performances we are watching unfold in front of us.

“Who cares if it’s good for the sport? He’s amazing. That’s it. You should not stop that,” Villeneuve told RacingNews365.com.

“He’s managed to do it better than anybody else. He’s managed to work with his engineer and his team to turn the car into a second skin.

“When you have that, you just sit in the car and you don’t even think. The car does whatever you want it to.

“That’s why every year Sergio Perez for two or three races, [the thought is that] he can beat Max.

“But then Max works and gets the car to do what he wants. Then he destroys Perez. And that makes a difference.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

Revealed: The five longest winning streaks by a single driver in F1

F1 points all-time rankings: Where do Hamilton, Verstappen and Alonso feature?

Villeneuve would liken that feeling of sublime connection to the car to what he experienced late in 1996 and his title-winning year of 1997, when at the wheel for Williams.

“I had that end of 1996 and 1997,” he continued.

“I would jump in the car and think ‘I know the car can do this,’ and it does it.

“Or if it’s wrong [and needs] a small little change, you talk with the engineers and it works.

“You don’t have to think about it. And when you’re like this, you’ll drive two or three-tenths faster, just because you don’t have to second guess what’s happening.”

Verstappen is now well on his way to a third World Championship title in as many years, having extended his lead over closest challenger Perez to 138 points.

Read next: Max Verstappen’s major reveal with Lando Norris firmly on Red Bull radar