According to Jacques Villeneuve, the six points separating Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in this year’s title duel do not represent the “real” story.
Verstappen leads Hamilton by six points in the World Championship race with only six races remaining this season.
Even when Verstappen had a large 33-point lead heading into Sunday’s British Grand Prix, the momentum had swung back and forth between the two throughout the season.
Verstappen was in the battles in both the British and Hungarian races two Sundays later, with an eight-point deficit.
Overall, the Red Bull driver has seven victories and three DNFs, while Hamilton has five victories and only one retirement, thanks to red lights at Silverstone and Imola.
“The points in the standings do not reflect the real situation,” Villeneuve said.
“Lewis Hamilton made many mistakes by paying a low price unlike Max Verstappen. I think about what happened to him in Hungary and earlier at Silverstone.
“Yet they’ve stayed close, so it’s hard to say who will win.”
“Verstappen and Red Bull was just perfect, while I catch the fatigue in Lewis and his team.
“The strategies? In the past Mercedes didn’t need to get them right and they won just the same. Like Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari: everyone said they were gods, geniuses, even when the strategy was wrong but they were so much stronger that they won the same.
“Furthermore, the driver and the team no longer seem united as before, at least according to their statements.”
The Canadian concedes, though, that Mercedes’ engine might still play a role in the title chase.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said there was “something strange” about Mercedes’ PU with Hamilton “15/20 kph higher after the kink on the straight” following the Turkish Grand Prix. He went on to explain that it was “phenomenal.”
Villeneuve reckons it will hand Mercedes the advantage at the United States and Brazilian GPs.
“In Turkey they mounted the largest wing and yet on the straights no one could stand up to them,” he said.
“Maybe they’ve turned up the engine power.
“With that engine Hamilton will do well in Austin and Brazil, it will be an incredible help.”
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