13 December 2010
Villeneuve: Mandatory tyre stops tainted F1 in 2010
1997 F1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve believes mandatory tyre stops spoiled grands prix in 2010.
Jacques Villeneuve has claimed that the outcome of the 2010 F1 world championship might have been different had teams not been required to change tyres at every race.
While refuelling was banned for the season, the FIA stopped short of ruling out mandatory pit-stops by maintaining the need to run both specifications of Bridgestone tyre during a race, and Villeneuve believes that this affected both the outcome and excitement at times.
Several drivers took the risk of changing tyres either in the opening or closing laps of a race, notably Kamui Kobayashi en route to a then impressive seventh for Sauber in Valencia and Sebastian Vettel in securing a vital fourth at Monza, but Villeneuve insisted that his F1 viewing had been dulled by seeing other races peter out after contenders had to make scheduled stops.
"The regulations were almost completely right," the 1997 world champion told French magazine Auto Hebdo as he made his debut in the Andros Trophee ice racing series, "The only small problem was the mandatory changing of tyres. It resulted in some negative points, especially at the last race, that otherwise would have been interesting."
Villeneuve, who has since confirmed that he will see out the Andros Trophee with Skoda, said that he had been a regular viewer of the top flight throughout 2010 as he waited on the fate of his joint bid, with Durango, for the vacant 13th grid slot.
"I followed it all closely this season because I was working to put together a team, so I needed to see what was happening," he confirmed, before revealing that he would not have been quite so happy, had his bid come off, with some of the regulations in place for 2011.
"It was an interesting season," the 39-year old said of 2010, "but, next year, there is going to be a [rear] wing that moves. This is something that I think is negative, too artificial. It's a shame they're doing that when you think about how good this season was."
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