'Not F1, it was rental karting' – Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen duel like 'Hollywood show' says Jacques Villeneuve

FORMER F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve says the F1 title fight has turned into a "Hollywood show".

The Canadian, who won the title in 1997 after Michael Schumacher was disqualified in the final race of the season for trying to ram him off track, has blasted Lewis Hamilton's battle with Max Verstappen in Saudi Arabia and said it was like "rental karting".

Villeneuve says that his former boss Frank Williams would be "turning in his grave" at their bad-tempered battle.

He said: "It wasn't F1, it was rental karting. Everything was wrong. So I'm not sure what to say.

"And it's hard to stay neutral, it's hard to give a comment on what happened every time and be perceived as being neutral.

"You will always be perceived as taking sides, and that's when it becomes a bit too much.

"Do we want sport and good F1? Or do we just want a Hollywood show?

"If you want a Hollywood show, Sunday was amazing. But is that what F1 is all about?

"I don't know. I mean, I think Frank would have turned in his grave, seeing that race.

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"And then when you see the team principals, everybody is shouting, and putting pressure, even on the marshals and so on, that become ridiculous.

"It really has become ridiculous.

"It was great for the fans. So that probably will increase the viewership. Which is great for F1.

"But we're starting to get away from the sport, that's all. So ultimately, it depends if you're a purist or not.

"I just hope we have a nice clean race in Abu Dhabi. And may the best man win, and not anything Hollywood. We already got our Hollywood hits this year."

Meanwhile, former F1 driver Martin Brundle says Verstappen has to stop his aggressive tactics or risk earning a reputation as "an unfair driver".


He said: "Max has been playing the game given that, with his points advantage, Hamilton simply can't afford to have an accident.

"Even now despite being absolutely level on points going into the final round, for the first time in F1 since 1974, that remains the case given that he has a 9-8 race victory tally should there be a count-back.

"Such is Max's car control and cunning he's sometimes able to pull off the audacious moves and leave a margin of doubt as to whether it's hard racing or simply a professional foul outside of the regulations.

"And it's those moments which are generating the confusion, controversies and inconsistencies.

"I'm in awe of Verstappen's driving skills and racing nous but it saddens me that he's resorting to such tactics, he's better than that.

"And for all his outwardly carefree attitude it will be such a shame if his legacy is to be labelled as an unfair driver."

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