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Villeneuve: Raikkonen was a lucky F1 champion
17 August 2011
Jacques Villeneuve has attacked Kimi Raikkonen as a 'lucky' F1 champion and said that he doesn't feel the Finn deserved to take the 2007 crown.
Raikkonen beat McLaren pair Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso the title by a single point in his first season with Ferrari after winning three of the final four races but Villeneuve said he felt the Finn's team-mate Felipe Massa was a more deserving champion, despite him winning only three times compared to Raikkonen's six successes.
“Kimi won the championship, he was lucky, because he didn't deserve it,” the Canadian told TotalRace
“Felipe [Massa] deserved it a lot more. He was always more capable than Kimi and it was easy to beat him.”
Arguably Massa's best chance of being F1 champion came the following season when he just missed out on the title to Hamilton in the season finale at Interlagos but Villeneuve said the Brazilian was still a driver capable of fighting for honours and had been unfairly criticised after the arrival of Fernando Alonso within the team.
“Alonso arrived and quickly became powerful inside Ferrari, which created the problem,” he said. “Alonso is energised and motivated in the team. It seems that, if the car wins, it will be with him and it creates a difficult situation for the other driver.
“Felipe has the speed. He is capable of driving strongly, working in the car. I don't have any doubt about that. But he needs to do even more now, because it has become Alonso's team, which is normal, given that he is a double world champion.
“The logic is if your team mate is a two times world champion, the team will focus on him which is normal. He [Massa] has won races and almost a championship or two. He is a great driver and right now he is driving strongly for Ferrari. I don't understand people who criticise him.”