View Full Version : Ask Nigel Roebuck: January 22 --- Re: Jacques Villeneuve

01-22-03, 03:24 PM
Dear Nigel,

It's started already! Villeneuve slags off new team-mate shock! Why does he always do this? Is it a case of the has-been versus the potential champion? What are your views on BAR as a whole, Villeneuve's team pep talk and his own and Buttons future?

Richard Hargrave,
Arlesey, UK

Dear Richard,

Don't panic! It's only JV playing mindgames - and there's no one in the paddock who's better at it. Of all the F1 drivers I have ever known, I would say he is mentally tougher than any other; the only ones close at the moment are Montoya - and perhaps Raikkonen.

Jacques's father, Gilles, was a good friend of mine, and although the two have characteristics in common, in other ways you would never imagine they were related. It wasn't in Gilles's nature to play mindgames - and, anyway, he was so good he didn't need to!

Not sure if I necessarily go along with your assessments of Villeneuve as a has-been and Button as a potential champion. As far as I'm concerned, Jacques is a better driver now than when he won the World Championship in 1997, and his lack of a competitive car since has robbed F1 of a man who - we know - can frighten Michael. As for Jenson, I think he has huge natural ability, but need to see more evidence that he is a 'racer', in the Montoya/Raikkonen sense of the word. The driving talent's there, undoubtedly, but these days that alone won't deliver a championship.

I'm expecting BAR to progress substantially this year. At last the team has employed a proper F1 designer (Geoff Willis), and the new car has to be substantially better than anything previously produced by BAR. As well as that, the signs are that Honda, whose 2002 engine was frankly lamentable, are getting serious again.

01-22-03, 07:42 PM
It's refreshing to hear comments like Jacques instead of the usual drivel that athletes spew. Button HASN'T really done anything and JV isn't quite a has been. It's a shame he's wasting away in an umcompetitive car while others who have done comparatively little obtain choice rides. He may be collecting huge paychecks but the fans are being cheated out of seeing what could be one of the greatest rivalries in F1 history.

01-22-03, 08:15 PM
I have alot of time for Nigel Roebuck. His stories are amazing, and his yearnings for yesteryear are never morose. It is also interesting to note his evaluations of young master Villeneuve's skills now, as opposed to when he had the best car on the grid. Villeneuve IMO has been too frequently accused of lack-lustre performances and just showing up for his paychecks but I would argue that some of his performances in cars that have been F-1 cars in name only have been amazing. Patrick Head, not an easy man to impress, has said much the same..I truly hope that Jacques gets a car that is worthy of his talent soon, his is a talent too great to waste on shoddy designs and poor-workmanship..