JV: Shut up and drive

Date published: April 11 2016

Jacques Villeneuve feels today’s Formula 1 drivers should butt out of the politics and drive the cars.

This year has seen an uprise in drivers being willing to voice their opinions, even the very negative ones, about Formula 1’s governance.

It resulted in an open letter from the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association to the sport’s bosses, in which they spoke of the “obsolete and ill-structured” decision-making process that “reflects negatively on our sport.”

And all this was taking place while Formula 1 was generating negative headlines through its attempts to run an elimination qualifying format, another thing that was also widely criticed by the drivers.

But while some applauded them for sharing their thoughts, 1997 World Champion Villeneuve says they should “shut up” and get on with the job.

“The way the drivers have been complaining is terrible for F1, it’s not their problem,” he told Autosport.

“They should just shut up. It’s not their problem how good or bad the show is on TV.

“They should just get on with their job.

“In a classroom, how many of your classmates would be able to make educated decisions? Not many.

“Take a group of 20 drivers. Take maybe two of them and the rest should just shut up.

“So why would you want to give them power?”

The Canadian does, however, have an opinion of his own on the rules.

“They should stop changing the rules full stop,” he explained.

“In all the noble sports like tennis and football, the rules haven’t changed in 100 years, even when it is boring, and people respect it.”

As for how he would like to see qualifying run, “one lap on its own [in qualifying] was great.

“We just need something old school. Just something normal.

“Some days you’ll have great qualifying sessions and somedays boring qualifying but that’s the way it goes.”