Villeneuve: Hamilton must “be aggressive” to reclaim F1 world title

Formula 1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve says Lewis Hamilton must get over his disappointment of losing the 2021 title to Max Verstappen and “be aggressive” to claim it back.

Villeneuve: Hamilton must “be aggressive” to reclaim F1 world title
Listen to this article

Villeneuve won his 1997 championship for Williams following a controversial finale at Jerez, where Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher crashed into him as they battled over the title.

Speaking at Daytona, where he was testing ahead of a planned NASCAR Cup Series comeback next month, Villeneuve said the disputed ending to the 2021 F1 season in Abu Dhabi was “good for the sport” as it sets up a narrative for Hamilton to return and avenge his defeat.

“It's good for the sport anyway because Lewis now has to come back and try to win his eighth championship and be aggressive to try to win it,” said Villeneuve.

“Ultimately, it got a lot of ink in the papers. It was slightly controversial, but it always is when it all comes down to the last race.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, battles with Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, battles with Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Following his shocking defeat in Abu Dhabi, which cost him a record-breaking eighth championship, Hamilton has been silent on social media leading to suggestions that he could quit F1.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has said that he “would hope very much that Lewis continues racing” while admitting his star driver was “disillusioned at the moment”.

When asked if he thinks Hamilton will return in 2022, Villeneuve replied: “Well, who knows?

“Nobody expected [Nico] Rosberg to not come back and suddenly he just woke up one morning and told everyone he actually wasn’t passionate about racing in a way. That doesn't seem to be the case with Lewis, but who knows?

“It's a really a pickle to know what's going on in the head of people when the season is very long, you believe you know where it's going to turn out and it doesn't turn out how you expect, and you feel it’s been taken away from you.

“I guess the reaction is quite negative. But you just have to get going again.”

Read Also:

Despite the outcry that followed Abu Dhabi, after which governing body the FIA has vowed to investigate in a detailed analysis of the restart following the last-race safety car, Villeneuve believes that the right man won the 2021 title.

“I guess it depends if you're a fan of Verstappen or a fan of Lewis when it comes to the reaction,” said Villeneuve.

“It was exciting and seeing how the whole season went, Max deserved this championship. He had been on top of it all year – race after race.”

shares
comments

Related video

Honda quit F1 too early, says motorsport boss Yamamoto
Previous article

Honda quit F1 too early, says motorsport boss Yamamoto

Next article

Alonso: Oldest F1 driver tag now gives me an advantage

Alonso: Oldest F1 driver tag now gives me an advantage
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Prime

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility Prime

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022