Valtteri Bottas latest F1 star in Jacques Villeneuve’s firing line as stinging remark made
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Valtteri Bottas has become the latest F1 driver to feel the wrath of Jacques Villeneuve following his displays at the Grand Prix’s in Azerbaijan and Canada. Bottas, who joined Alfa Romeo ahead of the 2022 season after five years at Mercedes, finished his 11th and seventh respectively in the two races, but only after being out-qualified in both by rookie Chinese teammate, Zhou Guanyu.
And that didn’t escape the outspoken 1997 world champion, who has become renowned for his brutal remarks about current F1 drivers. Following the race in Montreal, he slammed George Russell for choosing slick tyres in the closing stages of qualifying, a move the former Williams man argued cost him a podium place.
Villeneuve, 51, had previously been critical of Lewis Hamilton, blaming his attitude for the struggles of Mercedes. He accused the seven-time world champion of “dragging his arms on the ground” and not “driving to his potential.”
And now it’s Hamilton’s former teammate Bottas who is in the firing line. Although he finished above Zhou in the two races in question, the youngster was just a place behind him in Canada and according to the current NASCAR driver, the Finn’s qualifying woes are inexcusable.
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Villeneuve told the F1 Nation podcast that Bottas “should be easily” outpacing his rookie partner: “Zhou has never been on this track and he didn’t get much mileage either, so no, Bottas this year should never, ever get beaten by Zhou,” said Villeneuve.
“It’s just not on. Not a driver of his experience that has won so many races. This should not happen, mostly on a track that Zhou has not been on. I don’t know if it’s because he got used to not beating Lewis [Hamilton] and that set him back a little bit. Then he had an easy beginning of the year.
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“He was looking good, running at the front, destroying Zhou, and suddenly, Zhou is showing that he is quick. We’re not seeing the best Valtteri that we could, or that we should, right now. He should be easily ahead of Zhou.”
Bottas, 32, currently lies eighth in the drivers’ standings with 46 points. Zhou has five points to his name in his debut season, and currently sits 16th.
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