Villeneuve: modern drivers show no respect

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Never one to mince his words, 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve has lashed out at today's F1 drivers, accusing the current generation of a lacking respect.

Villeneuve believes that today's safe and sanitized racing environment has negatively impacted mentalities and the way drivers deal with each other out on the race track.

The contrast with the period in which his father Gilles raced is stark, says Villeneuve.

"Because the cars were dangerous and it was difficult to overtake there was a lot more respect between drivers," he explained while visiting Autosport International.

"You never saw drivers weave down a straight line. You never saw a driver brake on the inside of the track, he would keep line, brake on outside and try and brake later.

"It was clean and respectful. They banged into each other but there were mistakes. Now, you see a video game, where drivers think they are inside a video game.

"There is no respect. What is respect? It's not even in their dictionary. Everything is fine - you can't get hurt."

Villeneuve believes that Formula 1's current woes began when the governing powers started listening to the fans, who wanted closed racing and more overtaking, which led to the introduction of the DRS device.

"The fans kept complaining and saying 'there's not enough overtaking, there's not enough of this, not enough of that'," he said.

"By listening to that, what did F1 do? 'OK, let's have DRS, we'll have a hundred overtakings in a race'.

"But name me one overtake that you remember since DRS? You don't. With DRS, it's a case of, 'OK let's not take a risk, let's just push a button'.

"Now you see cars overtake on a highway, you don't see proper racing because of that. We get tons of overtaking but it's boring. It defeats the purpose.

"In motorbike race, sometimes it takes a rider 10 laps to overtake, but in these laps, you see the work that goes into it."

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