Jacques Villeneuve does not see Lewis Hamilton’s title loss to Max Verstappen as something negative. He argues that it forces Hamilton to come back even stronger in an attempt to claim that eighth world title. That’s good for the sport. In addition, the Canadian discusses a possible retirement from the Briton, while also indicating that Verstappen is the deserved 2021 world champion.
“Verstappen’s title is good for F1,” Villeneuve told the French branch of Motorsport.com. “Hamilton now has to return, fight for that eighth title and throw in all his aggression to make this happen,” he added. If he had won that eighth title, he might have put an end to his career. Now Hamilton has something to fight for.
Villeneuve cannot ignore it: the last race in Abu Dhabi was one to remember. After Michael Masi’s action, the single world champion says it’s no wonder there is so much to do, although it doesn’t necessarily have to do with the race director: ‘A lot has been written about the last race. It was a controversial end to the year, but it always is when a championship is decided in the last game.”
Early retirement Hamilton?
Villeneuve doesn’t know if Hamilton will decide to stop racing, but thinks it is certainly a possibility. He thinks back to Nico Rosberg, Hamilton’s teammate at Mercedes until 2016. The German then decided to leave the sport overnight. This does not seem likely to him with Hamilton, but he cannot rule it out.
“Who knows?” the old Williams man wonders aloud. “Nobody expected Rosberg not to return, but he woke up one day and decided he had no passion for racing anymore. That doesn’t seem to be the case with Hamilton, but you don’t know.’ Especially now that that eighth world title is still beckoning, it would be a shame for Hamilton if he throws in the towel.
Verstappen deserves the title
Finally, the former Formula 1 driver addresses world champion Verstappen: ‘I think how you see it depends on whether you are a Verstappen fan or a Hamilton fan. It was exciting, and looking at the whole season, Verstappen deserves the title. He was lord and master all year round, race after race.’ That controversial season finale in Abu Dhabi does not change that, Villeneuve emphasizes.