Villeneuve: Williams made a mistake putting Claire in charge

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Jacques Villeneuve offered a harsh judgment of the team that brought him his world title in 1997, suggesting Williams was as good as "dead".

The Grove-based outfit - which last won a Grand Prix in 2012, its previous win before that dating all the way back to 2004 - has gone from a top mid-field contender in 2017 to a tail-end laggard this season, its performance depressed by a problematic FW41 chassis and a pair of talented but inexperienced drivers.

Lance Stroll provided the team with its only points so far this year, thanks to an eighth-place finish in Baku, but signs of a turnaround are nowhere to be seen, leading Villeneuve to cast a very bleak outlook on his former squad's future.

"The team is dead. I do not see anything… There is simply no management," the Canadian told

Villeneuve believes the team's problems started the day Claire Williams was named deputy team principal by her father, instead of her brother Jonathan.

"There was an alternative back then: either an heir – or an heir – and they chose Claire instead of Jonathan," added Villeneuve.

"A big mistake, you just have to look where the team is today.

"When it comes to a team like that you first have to look at the top of the pyramid, the fish starts to stink on the head.

"They are completely blind when it’s all about realizing where the team stands.

"You have to admit you’ve messed up, I do not see how the team is going to get out of it, I just do not see it."

Needless to say, many at Williams would disagree with the outspoken Villeneuve's assessment, starting with technical director and team partner Paddy Lowe, a man whose competence and expertise cannot be called into question given his past success in F1.

Still, Williams undoubtedly has its work cut out for it. But then so does McLaren as the two most successful teams in F1 behind Ferrari seek a new dawn.

Come on Jacques, show a bit of support and compassion for the team that brought you your finest moments...

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