Villeneuve was important to Mercedes: 'Sees them winning Grand Prix now'

14-08-2021 11:20 | Updated: 14-08-2021 14:42
F1 News
Villeneuve was important to Mercedes: 'Sees them winning Grand Prix now'

Mercedes has dominated Formula 1 in recent years. In the last seven seasons the most important prizes went to Mercedes or a driver of the team. Six times it was Lewis Hamilton who became World Champion, the remaining title went to teammate Nico Rosberg.

Although that may change this year thanks to Max Verstappen, it has been an unimaginable period for Mercedes. According to engineer Jock Clear there is someone who doesn't get enough credit for this success, but who definitely played a big role in it: Jacques Villenueve as he explained in the Beyond the Grid podcast.

"Jacques had opportunities to race elsewhere, at McLaren or Benetton, but he followed his friend Craig Pollock to the BAR adventure. I certainly don't regret being his accomplice, but the challenge was more complicated than we thought."

Villeneuve helped create structure at Mercedes

Despite Clear finding Villeneuve a tricky driver, he did play a big part in developing the car and the structure that Mercedes still benefits from today. "Nonetheless, the structure he had helped create became a great success years later. First with Brawn GP and then under the leadership of Mercedes. Some thought Jacques was putting pressure on his career at the time by making this choice, but he did it out of loyalty and he can sleep comfortably today watching Mercedes win Grand Prix."

Whether Mercedes will once again top the list in both championships this year is a lot more questionable, unlike previous years. Finally, Max Verstappen is in a much better position this season than in previous years. Whether he can continue this will become clear in the near future.

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