Villeneuve slams F1 drivers who “think racing is like playing with Lego"

Jacques Villeneuve portrair

Former F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve has criticised modern F1, singling out the “restrictive” rules and drivers who “think racing is like playing with Lego."

Villeneuve, who beat Michael Schumacher to win the 1997 title for Williams, made his comments to the Schwetzinger Zeitung newspaper, and did not mince his words when assessing the current state of the sport.

"The rules are too restrictive. I have always regarded Formula One as an extreme sport, but not really anymore," said Villeneuve, whose legendary father Gilles lost his life in qualifying for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix.

"The sport is no longer pure enough, because of the rules. Everything has become much too artificial," he continued. "The drivers no longer have to make a real effort.”

"You used to come into Formula One maybe still as a 20-year-old, but you would already be a man. Now you get the impression they think racing is like playing with Lego."

Villeneuve added that these factors have contributed to F1’s recent decline in viewers.

"It is boring, we're losing fans. You can feel that something is missing."

43-year-old Villeneuve continues to race in a variety of series, contesting this year's Indy 500 as well as selected World Rallycross events for the British-based Albatec squad.