“If he’s not ready now, he’ll never be ready”– Jacques Villeneuve on Max Verstappen’s prospect of winning the championship this year.
For the first time in his career, Max Verstappen leads the drivers’ championship as his recent win in Monaco gives him a point lead against Lewis Hamilton.
The Dutchman for years have been regarded as the future champion of F1, but in the last six seasons, he failed to win any, though Mercedes’ supremacy is the reason behind it.
However, Red Bull has progressed immensely in 2021 and looks like a genuine candidate to win the championship. Thus Jacques Villeneuve feels it is now or never for Verstappen.
“He’s been around long enough,” Villeneuve told Motorsport-Magazin.com. “If he’s not ready now, he’ll never be ready,” he added. Villeneuve believes that Hamilton looks calm, but he goes right up to the limit.
“No, I don’t think so,” Villeneuve said when asked about has Verstappen shown enough aggression to Hamilton. “Lewis is pretty good, but he usually keeps it clean. He goes right to the limit. It looks relaxed, but it’s not. They are both very good at it.
“Lewis has done the same with Nico [Rosberg] in the past. Except that he always did it to that exact point where people would have thought he was doing it on purpose.”
“That was the little difference between him and Nico then. With Nico, it was obvious, with Lewis it wasn’t. Now it’s expected of Max. That’s why you see it that way, because it’s expected.”
Lewis Hamilton’s experience helps him.
The Spanish Grand Prix was the biggest evidence of what Verstappen lacks against Hamilton head-to-head, and it turned out to be– experience, as believed by Villeneuve.
“That comes with experience,” said Villeneuve. “You have to know which battles you fight and which you don’t. He made the right decisions in the process.
“Will experience be a big advantage in the title right? Yes. Because he [Hamilton] has improved a lot with experience. He has definitely matured as a driver. He can also keep that up throughout the season, which was a bit of a problem earlier in his career.”