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F1 | Villeneuve: Hamilton and Bottas like Schumacher and Irvine in racing battle with Verstappen

According to Villeneuve Hamilton is under pressure in track fight against Verstappen as he “is no longer used to taking big risks” and having Bottas as a teammate is certainly not helping him just like Irvine with Schumacher.

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F1 | Villeneuve: Hamilton and Bottas like Schumacher and Irvine in racing battle with Verstappen
Fuente imagen: Hasan Bratic-Motorlat

By the looks of it this F1 season will see a close battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. Currently the defending champion is only one point ahead after winning the opening race leaving Verstappen behind by less than a second and taking second place and fastest lap in Imola, where the Dutchman took the victory.

“It will be exciting. You could already see at Imola that Lewis is no longer used to taking big risks. But now he has to, because he has an opponent on a par who also drives for another team.” Jacques Villeneuve told F1-Insider.com.

“Lewis risked too much on the overlap. I doubt that would have happened to him like that in recent years. The red flag, which was triggered by his teammate Valtteri Bottas, saved him. He was very lucky. He shouldn’t rely on that from now on.”

He sees some similarities between himself and the young Red Bull driver.

“I was the young challenger Schumacher had to fight against like Hamilton is now. Michael couldn’t cope with that.”

And between Irvine, Micheal Schumacher’s teammate at the time and Valtteri Bottas.

“Back then, Heinz-Harald Frentzen was clearly better and faster than Schumacher’s teammate Eddie Irvine. Heinz-Harald simply took too long to get to grips with the Williams. That’s why Williams put all its cards on me early on. But without his support, especially in the last race, it would have been difficult. In the final we were able to put Schumacher under pressure together. Irvine, on the other hand, didn’t play a role.”

Villeneuve sees the Finn as a weakness for Hamilton.

“Perez is the newcomer to the Red Bull team and yet is already stronger than Bottas, who is in his fifth season with Mercedes. Perez can help Max more than Bottas can do for Hamilton.”

He also shared his thoughts on the collision Bottas and Russel’s Williams had in Imola.

“Bottas knew exactly that his potential successor was about to overtake him and risked a serious accident with his short move to the right.”

“He mustn’t do that under these difficult track conditions. But this shows how tensed Bottas is already in the second race of the season. And that’s not going to get any better. Because he is simply too slow. If he wasn’t, he wouldn’t have had to defend his position so over-hard against a Williams.”

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