Ex-Formula 1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve has criticized the European driving style in motorsport during the EuroNASCAR race – Too aggressive blocks would prevent overtaking maneuvers
Jacques Villeneuve claimed his second EuroNASCAR PRO podium with a third-place finish at the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) race in Grobnik, Croatia. The Canadian criticized the European motorsport school following the seventh round of the season, saying aggressive blocks prevent many overtaking maneuvers. In the United States of America, the driving behavior of drivers is quite different, according to the 1997 Formula 1 World Champion.
Earlier, Italian Vittorio Ghirelli, who finished second, was interviewed in Victory Lane. The Hendriks Motorsport driver blamed the flowing Automotodrom Grobnik for the fact that it is not easy to overtake a competitor. According to Ghirelli, there is a lack of hard braking zones to get alongside another car. Villeneuve sees it quite differently and has another explanation ready.
Asked about Ghirelli’s opinion, the Canadian said: “It’s hard to overtake because of all the blocking that happens in Europe. In the States that doesn’t happen. It’s just the modern way of racing: you block all the time so you can’t overtake.” Villeneuve would like to see more respect in battles in Europe and fair behavior from competitors when getting attacked from the driver who’s following.
Despite the criticism, Villeneuve was pleased with the race in Croatia. He said: “I started sixth, the start went well. It was a bit tough in the race but the car was quick once we got going. We are missing speed coming out of the corner to stay close enough to try to overtake. Starting sixth and finishing on the podium is good.”
In Sunday’s second race, Villeneuve was running in a strong second place when he was pushed off the track by Lucas Lasserre on the penultimate lap. The Academy driver dropped way back, while Speedhouse driver Lasserre received a 30-second penalty. Villeneuve sits 13th in the overall standings without any dropped result.
The next NWES event will be held on October 9 and 10 at Belgium’s Circuit Zolder. The four rounds – two each in the EuroNASCAR PRO and EuroNASCAR 2 championships – mark the finale of the regular season, after which drivers are allowed to drop their worst two results. The finale of the 2021 NWES season will take place on October 30 and 31 in Vallelunga, Italy.