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Villeneuve under fire for outspoken comments

Jacques Villeneuve loves stirring a controversy when he can, but this weekend he might have bitten off more than even he can chew after launching attacks on multiple fronts.
Jacques Villeneuve is well known for being out-spoken and stirring up a storm whenever the chance presents itself, but he seems to have outdone himself in Montreal after getting death threats following his comments on local student protests, on top of his comments about the current crop of F1 drivers containing too many "little daddy boys".

Villeneuve was angered when local student protesters attempted to disrupt the official F1 Grand Prix kick-off events earlier this week, part of a long-running campaign objecting to the Quebec government's plans to raise tuition fees.

"It's time for people to wake up and stop loafing about," he said after police made 37 arrests on Thursday. "It's lasted long enough. We heard them. We listened. They should stop. It's costing the city a fortune. It makes no sense.

"I think these people grew up without ever hearing their parents ever tell them 'no'," he added. "So that's what you see in the streets now. People spend their time complaining. It's becoming a little bit ridiculous. They spoke, we heard, and now it's time to go back to school."

After his comments were widely reported in the media, Villeneuve revealed that he had received email death threats for daring to speak out - which only incensed him further.

"For people who laud the right of free expression, I find it ridiculous that I wouldn't have the right to say what I think," he told La Presse newspaper on Friday. He added that if students carried out to block subways to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Sunday to disrupt race fans attending the Grand Prix that it would amount to an act of terrorism.

It's not just the students that have got under Villeneuve's skin this week - he's also come out strongly against the modern generation of drivers in F1 being mollycoddled compared their predecessors. "They weren't little daddy boys like you have now," he said, complaining that there is too little respect and common sense in the field.

"They are driving F1 and they are still children, they are still babies and they are kept like that," he told Sky Sports F1 midweek after joining their commentary and analysis team for this weekend's event.

But Villeneuve said that there were some drivers in F1 that he admired, and singled out Ferrari's Fernando Alonso for praise.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jacques Villeneuve. [Pic supplied by: Lotus]
Jacques Villeneuve prepares to drive his father`s Ferrari [Pic credit: Ferrari]
26.11.2011- Saturday Practice, Jacques Villeneuve (CAN), Ex F1 Champion
Jacques Villeneuve (CAN)
28.04.2017 - Free Practice 1, Mika Salo (FIN), FIA Steward and Jacques Villeneuve (CAN)
27.04.2017 - Jacques Villeneuve (CAN) and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
27.04.2017 - Jacques Villeneuve (CAN) and Bernie Ecclestone (GBR)
27.04.2017 - Jacques Villeneuve (CAN)
27.04.2017 - Jacques Villeneuve (CAN) and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
27.04.2017 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and Jacques Villeneuve (CAN)
27.04.2017 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and Jacques Villeneuve (CAN)
27.04.2017 - Jacques Villeneuve (CAN)
08.04.2017 - Qualifying, Jacques Villeneuve (CAN), Federica Masolin, Sky and Davide Valsecchi (ITA), Sky TV
23.03.2017 - Jacques Villeneuve (CAN) and Enrico Zanarini (ITA)
24.11.2016 - Davide Valsecchi (ITA), Sky TV, Federica Masolin, Sky and Jacques Villeneuve (CAN)
23.10.2016 - (L-R) Charlie Whiting (GBR), Race director and safety delegate  and François Dumontier, Octane Racing Group Inc. President and CEO and President of the FORMULA 1 Grand Prix du Canada.
09.10.2016 - Race, Marc Gene (ESP), Test Driver Scuderia Ferrari, Federica Masolin, Sky and Jacques Villeneuve (CAN)
04.09.2016 - Jacques Villeneuve (CAN)

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June 09, 2012 5:24 PM

Jacques' comments concerning the protesters were correct, and reflect what most reasonable critics think of the protests currently underway. The tuition rates paid by students in Quebec is well less than half of students in other Canadian provinces, and is laughable, when you consider the amount paid by students in other countries. Rebels without a cause is apt.

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