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Villeneuve sees key difference between Verstappen and Hamilton

Jacques Villeneuve reckons 2021 championship rivals Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton are "two extremes".

Jacques Villeneuve has offered his thoughts on Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton as the 2021 title race enters its closing stages. Verstappen and Hamilton are locked in a close battle for the championship, with just eight points separating the pair ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, where the Dutchman can secure the crown if results go his way . But while there is little to separate the pair on track, 1997 World Champion Villeneuve sees a huge difference between them off the circuit. "They are two extremes," Villeneuve told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf . "Max is not politically correct, he doesn't care what others say and is here to race. Lewis is more concerned with his image and is very active on social media."

Villeneuve's opinion has changed

Villeneuve admits that his opinion of Verstappen has changed over the years, having initially criticised the youngster's approach when he burst onto the Formula 1 scene in 2015 at the age of 17. "He is not the same driver as he was then," Villeneuve continued. "He has grown tremendously and matured. He is focused and the whole team is behind him. Red Bull is really fully a 'Verstappen team' at the moment, just like Mercedes is a 'Hamilton team'."

Who is Villeneuve backing?

Villeneuve also assessed Verstappen and Hamilton's performances so far this season. "I think Lewis has made more mistakes, [but] it hasn't cost him that many points," he commented. "Max is having a better season, although it's clear that they are miles above the rest [of the drivers]." As for the eventual victor, Villeneuve summed up: "For Formula 1, it would be better if Max wins. In that case, Lewis still has to hunt for his eighth world title to break Michael Schumacher's record."

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