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Villeneuve: Williams is "dead"

NEWS STORY
13/07/2018

Ever controversial, 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve, has claimed that his former team, Williams, is dead.

The Canadian, now a regular pundit with Sky Italia, made his F1 debut with Williams in 1996, winning on only his fourth outing with the team and finishing runner-up to teammate Damon Hill in the championship.

The following season he won the title in one of the most controversial finales of modern times, spending one more year with Williams before joining the ill-fated British American Racing project.

Waking out of BMW Sauber and F1, just over half-way through the 2006 season, over the years that followed he raced almost anything that moved including NASCAR, Le Mans, Speedcar, GT and even Formula E.

In the wake of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone - the circuit that saw the team score its first Grand Prix win in 1979 - where both the Grove outfit's cars started from the pitlane following the post-qualifying discovery of a DRS-related phenomenon affecting the rear wings, Villeneuve was asked if he saw his old team improving anytime soon.

"No," he told Motorsport.com. "The team is dead.

"There is no management," he added. "There was a choice back then, you either put the heiress or the heir in charge," he continued. "And they put Claire instead of Jonathan. Big mistake, obviously, just look where the team is at now.

"You have to admit that you're screwed," insisted the Canadian. "I don't know how it can recover. I just don't see it. If you have two drivers without experience, that won't help. Not in a team like this."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 17/07/2018 12:51

"Williams has a cash issue as their biggest hurdle; everything goes south from there. They need a major partner or auto manufacturer to make them viable in today's F1. If they could get JLR/Tata to partner, they could turn things around. Look at how BAR has transformed into Mercedes AMG; it can happen. How far do you expect Williams to get with two pay drivers? Even with Massa, they only got so far. Their car is nearly blank with sponsorship. Looks like management changes are necessary to put this all into action. "

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2. Posted by Spartacus, 16/07/2018 16:23

"Yeah, There are two topics currently active on this thread.
1- Jacques Villenueve- his abrasive, outspoken comments.
JV is a CART champion, Indy 500 winner, F1 runner up, F1 champion, Sub for Beneton Renault. The move to BAR was a gamble and did not pan out. Although his comments are cutting, abrasive, and not very diplomatic, I chose to interpret and apply them to what is or has happened at Williams F1 racing.
2- Williams F1 - Current condition, driver lineup, future outlook
I for one have hope that Williams can recover. But seeing them at the back of the grid, basically last, is disheartening. Their condition is dismal at best and unless they can get the right talent back in place for development I am not sure how long their funding will hold out. This will not change overnight and they are stuck in this pattern at least for this season. I would hate to see it go through the next but it probably will.
Stroll and Sirotkin seem like they are GP2 drivers and should stay there. I don't see them moving into another team after their current contracts are over. Also, how much do drivers contribute to the development of the car with limited testing these days? The bulk of the data is produced on race weekends, where the drivers are on different race strategy programs during the P sessions. I am sure Alonzo is pretty frustrated with McLaren's performance and has been for a while. Again, the team choosing which direction to go, is the loaded question.
Where can William's go? Well from here it is only up, hopefully. A few years ago it seemed that Williams was better on the higher speed tracks. It use to be Toro Rosso and Sauber at the back, now we have seen Williams gradually slip down the line to the back of the grid and at the last race both cars started from pit lane. I really hope to see Williams get better. I have enjoyed watching the fruits of Frank William's efforts projected onto the race track and hope to see them battling for mid field status once again."

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3. Posted by Steve W, 16/07/2018 10:27

"So... How is Team Williams doing these days anyway?"

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4. Posted by alfsboy, 15/07/2018 22:10

"I reckon the Strolls will buy Force India.Cant see any other team selling at present .There is family history of buying business's where the principal is almost in jail.He turned down buying Team Lotus ,Sauber etc already .Stroll Jnr is at best a mediocre F1 driver and a middling endurance car racer .Williams need a good solid test driver ."

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5. Posted by bfairey, 15/07/2018 6:56

"I agree with Fan, Jacks is a "has bin"and done nothing since he left Williams."

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6. Posted by Fan For Now, 14/07/2018 16:41

"And why does anyone care what this one time driver says or feels. All he does is berate anything F1.
Stop being such a sniveling Canadian."

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7. Posted by GrahamG, 14/07/2018 12:43

"Why does anyone give space to the pathetic witterings of this has been - or to be more precise never was. Please stop repeating this drivel and thus "glorifying" this halfwit.
He has traded on his father's name for years, let's just ignore him"

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8. Posted by Anthony, 13/07/2018 20:18

"JV will say anything for a headline. For sure Williams have problems but it is a bit much for someone who was “made” by them to be so unsupportive. "

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9. Posted by klmn, 13/07/2018 19:47

"It is not Claire's fault , it is Paddy who made the mess."

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10. Posted by Ro, 13/07/2018 19:30

"Its a real shame what is happening at Williams, but to have two rookies is just madness. They have the money, (from daddy) so its down to management and the designers. Its quite clear that the car is a bucket of shit. Perhaps they should have a "reshuffle" of staff, cos who they have just aint good enough.How long will they have Mercedes engines ? Its not the engine, its the chassis and the aero."

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11. Posted by FQITW, 13/07/2018 16:38

"I really do not understand why people rush to print Villeneuve quotes.
His day is past ,he has nothing constructive to say just endless criticism of all & sundry.
We all know Williams is hurting at the moment and his comments add nothing to the situation except stating the obvious.

Patrick Head, who I would take note of, when asked to give his thoughts on JV years ago merely remarked that “ he made a meal of his championship”.

Add in all the wasted BAR years chasing a big salary, the singing ‘Career’ gone wrong and the various failed racing ‘comebacks’ over the last few years and I would have thought the last thing he should be doing is criticising others especially when they are down.
"

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12. Posted by Batman, 13/07/2018 16:23

"I can not say that Jacques is absolutely right in his thoughts but I can say that someone on Williams made a big mistake with the pair of drivers chosen. The team was already falling on the teams standing table and despite that they have chosen to let down the quickest and technically experienced driver, retaining the (dubious) talented Stroll, joined by another 'all to prove'. By doing so, the result can not be considered a surprise even if I really think that obviuously the car is not helping.

All that said, I whould have loved to see Massa and Kubica not just driving but delivering technical information to the developping team. A pair of rookies can only deliver what the car give them space to."

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13. Posted by @R1Racing71, 13/07/2018 14:45

"A point most Ineloquently made it’s beyond belief.

He’s no Martin Brundle is he?
"

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