At the time of the summer break, the 1997 world champion takes stock of this first part of the season and can only note the lead taken by Red Bull and Max Verstappen at the end of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen now has an 80-point lead over Charles Leclerc in the championship, while team-mate Sergio Perez is third just five points behind the Ferrari driver. During a few races, Ferrari has been losing big points due to driving or strategy errors.
After the Hungarian Grand Prix, Jacques Villeneuve explained to our colleagues at formula1.nl: “ The first half of the season was very good to watch and exciting. A lot has happened, but what I find incredible is that Max Verstappen has consolidated. »
” If we look at all the races one by one, we would expect a much more exciting battle for the title. The new rules work well, drivers can follow each other much longer and be more aggressive in the race. It’s a good sign. We have already seen great fights between Ferrari and Red Bull. Ferrari is just as strong, if not stronger. But Red Bull has a huge advantage. »
The Italian team is 97 points behind Red Bull in the Constructors’ Championship, but anything is mathematically possible with nine races remaining in this championship.
” Nothing is decided yet, there are still many races to run. But if the trend continues, if Verstappen continues to ride at this level and Red Bull continues to develop as well, it will be very difficult to stop them. »
” And Max is a machine, not normal! I wasn’t even tired yesterday, I don’t think I need to go on vacation! He has been driving incredibly hard this year and the team is making no mistakes. » declared Jacques Villeneuve.
Last weekend in Hungary, Max Verstappen took victory starting 10th on the grid, while the two Ferrari drivers finished fourth and sixth behind the two Mercedes drivers.
“SThere is something wrong, he and Red Bull always create the best conditions to make things right. Yesterday could have gone for damage limitation, he didn’t have to win but he did. That’s how they enter the race, don’t put pressure on themselves and then play really well. »
For a few races, Max Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez looks less comfortable with his car. He finished fourth at the French Grand Prix and fifth in Budapest as Max Verstappen won the latter two rounds.
” By the way, the car seems to be getting better and better at Verstappen’s pace. Sergio Perez seems to have lost some of his luster since Monaco, which is a bit strange. He has struggled since the car was fitted with modifications, as if they would work better with Verstappen’s driving style. »
” HASIt used to be the other way around, which is weird. Maybe it’s because Verstappen is more involved, but in any case, you can’t imagine the Red Bull people saying to themselves, “Now we’re going to develop upgrades that will allow Verstappen to drive better and not Perez.‘. »
To conclude, the Canadian confirms that he has thoroughly enjoyed this weekend of racing in Hungary and that the holidays are coming at the right time.
” It was a great weekend in Budapest. Despite the heat, there were people, I’ve never seen so many people at a Hungarian GP. A lot of people in the paddock, from the drivers to the staff, really need a holiday and we’ll see how everyone comes back. see me For now, I wish you happy holidays.”