Jacques Villeneuve has typically decided to forge his own path when it comes to predicting the outcome of this year's F1 world championship, coming down heavily in favour of Ferrari, despite the Scuderia being yet to win a race in 2013.
Whilst, admittedly, there have only been two rounds staged so far, the outspoken Canadian has plumped for Fernando Alonso as the man most likely to come out on top, even though the Spaniard exited the Malaysian Grand Prix on lap two after his team misjudged the severity of front wing damage on his F138.
Despite that, Villeneuve - who now commentates on F1 for Sky Italia
- reckons that Alonso will emerge as the man to beat, with Ferrari also looking strong thanks to the rejuvenated form of team-mate Felipe Massa, who currently heads the double world champion in the standings after two top five finishes from the opening rounds.
“This could be Ferrari's year ,” the former Williams and BAR driver was quoted by the Italian media, “The car is fast, although maybe it's a bit difficult to drive, and perhaps [Alonso] will also have the support of Massa. The team has already made its big mistake for the year.”
Villeneuve's views come despite the wins this year being divided between Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, and the 1997 title-winner believes that the Finn will be a bigger threat to Alonso than the reigning champion.
“I said before Australia that it would be Alonso and [Lewis] Hamilton for the title, now I think I would bet everything on the Spaniard and the Finn,” he told France's Auto Hebdo
, adding another jab at Vettel after branding him 'stupid' for passing Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber when apparently under orders to hold station in the Malaysian Grand Prix.