Drivers hit back at Villeneuve over Hubert death

Sat, 7 September 2019, 09:35

Sep.7 (GMM) Three drivers have hit back at Jacques Villeneuve, following comments the 1997 world champion made in the wake of Anthoine Hubert’s death.

Villeneuve, now an always-outspoken pundit, said one of the issues is that the younger generation spends so much time in simulators that they then underestimate the sport’s real dangers.

“I disagree with many things he says,” Lewis Hamilton said at Monza, according to Speed Week.

“I think when you look at young people anywhere, they have zero fear anyway – whether it’s on skis or whatever. For me, it’s an age thing.

“Simulators have absolutely nothing to do with it.”

And Lando Norris, a 19-year-old rookie, also rejected Villeneuve theory.

“The accident had nothing to do with sim racing,” said the McLaren driver, who is an avid racing simulator gamer.

“Safety has come a long way even since when Villeneuve was driving, but we haven’t forgotten the danger,” Norris added.

“Several things came together at Spa, but it has nothing to do with the fact that we are supposedly taking more risks.”

He is also quoted by Auto Motor und Sport: “Accidents may not hurt in the simulator, but I’m not so naive to think it’s the same in real life.”

And Ferrari’s 21-year-old driver Charles Leclerc said: “I’ve always been aware that I’m doing a dangerous sport.

“Anthoine’s death was a shock, but not a wake-up call in the sense that we didn’t know what the risk was already. Even if nothing had happened in a long time, none of us believed that it would always have to stay that way.”

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