Villeneuve: Hamilton bitter about 2021 title loss

Former Williams driver and 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve thinks Lewis Hamilton is still suffering a hang over from last year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

-

Former Formula 1 champion Jacques Villeneuve believes that Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton is still bitter about his controversial title loss to Max Verstappen at the season-ending Formula 1 showdown in Abu Dhabi last year.

The Canadian who is known for his controversial opinions thinks that last year’s title loss is having an impact on Hamilton’s performances this season, with the seven-time world champion trailing his new teammate George Russell in the 2022 Drivers’ Championship after the first five rounds of the championship.

“I think missing the world title last year is a heavy burden for him that he carried with him all winter,” Villeneuve told Formule1.nl.

“He was bitter and feels that he was robbed. But you can see from the way Max drives that he didn’t steal the title at all and is a deserved champion.

“Lewis’ champion’s luck seems to have left him, he doesn’t have the momentum and nothing’s going his way. It’s going to be a tough fight, but Lewis is a racer and a champion. He knows what needs to be done and we’ll see if he still has the energy to do it.”

Russell takes advantage

Hamilton’s relatively poor performances have played nicely into Russell’s hands with the former Williams driver outperforming Hamilton, especially at the previous round in Imola. Villeneuve believes that a changing of the guards has taken place at Mercedes with Hamilton no longer the team’s de facto number one driver.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during the Miami Grand Prix REUTERS/Marco Bello

“I think we have seen the final changing of the guard at Mercedes,” Villeneuve explained.

“George Russell is riding the wave, Lewis Hamilton is trying not to drown. After many years of winning without competition, it’s hard to wake up and realise it’s not that easy. He now has to drive like he did in his first two years in Formula 1, which is what Russell is doing now.

“In the race Russell took the decision: leave me out, maybe a safety car will come – and it paid off.”

Verstappen a worthy champion

The Canadian also gushed about Verstappen with Villeneuve highlighting the Dutchman’s consistency despite prevailing after an epic title fight with Hamilton in 2021.

“In the last two races, Max has certainly shown that he deserved the title,” Villenueve elaborated.

“A car can always break down, but apart from that, he’s always competing for the win. He drives almost flawlessly, and when he makes an error, he corrects it. He drives at the peak of his abilities, on the edge.

Formula One F1 – Miami Grand Prix – Miami International Autodrome, Miami, Florida, U.S. – May 8, 2022 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates after winning the race REUTERS/Brian Snyder

“He makes the best of what he can control. There has not been a single race in which he’s given less than the best – we saw that again in Miami.

“Max has been impressive from the start of the season. He is driving like he drove last year. Normally you might be a bit tired after a championship year, but you can see that nothing has changed. In fact, he’s just got stronger. He’s been released from that championship pressure – he’s shown that he can win a title.”

John Smith
John Smithhttps://total-motorsport.com
Editor at Total-Motorsport.com and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
- Advertisment -

LATEST NEWS

Colton Herta wins the IndyCar 2024 Grand Prix of Toronto | Penske Entertainment: Travis Hinkle

Colton Herta Triumphs in Toronto, Ending 40-Race Winless Streak

0
Michael Andretti’s jubilant reaction following the IndyCar Grand Prix of Toronto at Exhibition Place was unmistakable as Colton Herta...
Pascal Wehrlein celebrates winning the Formula E championship at the London E-Prix | Formula E

Victory and redemption: Pascal Wehrlein’s road to becoming Formula E champion

0
Following a wide-open battle that boiled down to the very last race of the 2024 season, Pascal Wehrlein officially...
Mitch Evans looks on at the 2024 Portland E-Prix | Formula E

Evans hits out at Jaguar: Team were working against me in Formula E finale

0
Mitch Evans feels his Jaguar team were working against him during the Formula E finale in London as he...
Pascal Wehrlein celebrates winning 2024 Formula E championship | Formula E

London E-Prix Results 2024 – Formula E Round 16

0
Pascal Wehrlein emerged victorious in one of the most dramatic races in Formula E history, securing his maiden Drivers'...
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes battle for track position at Turn 2 during the 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen escapes crash penalty: Blames Lewis Hamilton

0
Max Verstappen blames Lewis Hamilton for turning in too early for their Hungaroring crash on July 21 as the...
Lando Norris in action at the 2024 Hungarian GP | McLaren

F1 Standings after 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix

0
Oscar Piastri secured his first Formula 1 victory at the 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix amid internal McLaren drama with...
Porsche driver Pascal Wehrlein after winning Round 15 at the London E-Prix | Formula E

Wehrlein wins 2024 Formula E title after gripping London E-Prix

0
An unbelievable end to the 2024 Formula E season saw Pascal Wehrlein crowned champion at the London E-Prix after...
Pascal Wehrlein and Mitch Evans in action at the 2024 London E-Prix | Formula E

Formula E 2024 LIVE: London E-Prix Finale – Wehrlein becomes champion after huge drama

0
Welcome to this Total-Motorsport.com Formula E LIVE BLOG for Round 16 from the 2024 London E-Prix! This Sunday, we bring you real-time updates,...
Lando Norris during practice at the 2024 Hungarian GP | McLaren F1 Team

Norris blames McLaren for team orders debacle: Issues warning

0
Lando Norris blamed McLaren for the team orders chaos at the 2024 Hungarian GP as he waited until Lap...
George Russell in action at the 2024 Hungarian GP | Mercedes

F1 2024 Hungarian GP – Fastest Lap

0
George Russell set the fastest lap of the 2024 Hungarian GP with a 1:20.305 on a weekend when he...
- Advertisment -