Now JV says drivers needs to shut up! JV of all people

Just when I reference Jacques Villeneuve, 24 hours later he completely destroys my recollection of his outspoken stance on Formula 1 when he was a driver. It’s like having a front wing torn off at turn one this season only to recall that Pastor Maldonado isn’t on the grid or like suggesting that Lena Dunham should win an Oscar only to recall that she’s got the acting range of a Daisy Air Rifle or like suggesting that I am a crap driver only to watch me set a lap record at Sonoma under the keen tutelage of Paul Charsley (that didn’t happen and it wasn’t Paul’s fault, trust me).

Nope, I just said in this piece that Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are starting to call out F1 on its decision-making process and what’s plaguing the series. I suggested that this reminded me of JV when he was never short of an opinion about the sport.

Not 24 hours later and I see AUTOSPORT run a story in which JV says, like Bernie Ecclestone, that the drivers need to shut up a little bit:

“The way the drivers have been complaining is terrible for F1,” he said. “It’s not their problem.

“They should just shut up. It’s not their problem how good or bad the show is on TV.

“They should just get on with their job.

“In a classroom, how many of your classmates would be able to make educated decisions? Not many.

“Take a group of 20 drivers. Take maybe two of them and the rest should just shut up.

“So why would you want to give them power?”

Seriously? This is a guy, who in baggie Nomex, had an opinion on just about everything in F1 and beyond. He never shied away from telling it like it was and it’s one thing I appreciated about him. He was critical (right or wrong) when he felt the system was out of bounds.

This is a bit of a pot/kettle thing if you ask me. JV has remained vocal about F1’s ills even when he had no ride or was toying with the idea of driving stock cars in Brazil or winning the soapbox derby championship in Salt Lick Iowa for crying out loud. He’s been a staple of the press and media outlets that need a good and oft times controversial quote.

They got one from him now but I’ll be honest, It wouldn’t have thought it would be slating drivers for speaking their minds because that was a hallmark of his era in F1.


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Tom Firth

Yeah… so shall we just ignore these comments?

JV in 2011

JV in 2014

The Illuminati clearly got to him ;-)

Negative Camber

As Bill said over on FB, he used to encourage other drivers to speak their minds back when he was in F1. Quite a different position today I guess. I think he’s effectively suggesting what I did in my other piece that they are, technically speaking, not stakeholders at the FIA table for voting.

Tom Firth

True and yes JV’s outspokenness is the stuff of legends, but it does seem odd that less than two years ago, he was still advocating about drivers speaking out on changes to F1 to the BBC, long after his F1 career had come to a halt.

Then today it is following the path, that they are technically speaking not stakeholders and therefore shouldn’t speak out. I don’t know, maybe he wants another seat, he’s running out of stuff that he hasn’t raced in since 2006.


the difference between what he has to say and what you have to say is that he has actually done something as opposed to just sitting behing a keyboard and having nothing meaningful to say about what OTHER people have actually done. he has credentials… you have none.

Negative Camber

WHAT? What are you talking about? JV has accomplished a heck of a lot, he’s a champ for crying out loud and I liked the fact that he was outspoken, I have no idea why you would do a drive-by shooting here and lob a grenade at me for commenting that JV is/was a very outspoken driver and for him to tell drivers to shut up seems antithetical to his own actions in F1. It doesn’t take a title or credentials to find that interesting. In fact, it doesn’t even take a keyboard or chair for that matter. Good grief.


no. it doesn’t take credentials to find it interesting but some would say it takes credentials to be critical or make qualitative judgements on what he has to say. your stock in trade ( demonstrated by your ” hat tip” penchant ) is to take what other people write and throw your own slant at it often critical without a shred of credentials to make that criticism. jv did the work. you did and do nothing other to stand on the sidelines and observe and run your mouth. what he says has meaning and substance BECAUSE he did the work.… Read more »

Negative Camber

I think you may have missed the point of our website, I’m not an F1 journalist. Nigel is terrific, I agree, as he’s one of my favorites. If you’re new to this website, then let me help fill in some gaps: This is a fan’s forum/website where we share our opinion about the news in F1. We’re not a blog pretending to be a new site or F1 journalists. We source every story we discuss with, yes, a hat tip so our readers can find the original source. As fans, we all have an opinion and if you have to… Read more »


Hey maybe you found your mystery iTunes critic! :)

jiji the cat

Bernie says…
” JV is a hypocrite.”


Having credentials doesn’t erase the fact that this statement plus his history makes him look like a hypocrite.


disagree… having credentials and having done the work not only erases that fact, it entitles him to change his mind because he has an insight and experience to speak with some authority… not to say he’s right or wrong but only to point out that what he has to say has weight versus some keyboard warrior who still lives with his mom.

jiji the cat

Bernie says…
” think before you post, you don’t want to sound like a wanker.”


So your own criticism of NC and his lack of journalistic credentials (which is misplaced anyway, since he’s simply offering his opinion as a fan) must be backed by your own journalistic credentials, which by your logic would be the only reason to listen to what you have to say on the matter. And those are?

Negative Camber

I suspect, having an opinion..which are the same as mine and yours. :)


I suspect you’re right, but I felt decorum insisted I give him the benefit of the doubt. ;-) We are, after all, a civil bunch of fanatics.


first of all… he doesn’t represent himself as a fan… he represents himself as a journalist. that profession carries with it some responsibilities and obligations like doing your own research and creating original work as opposed to just taking what other people have written and running your mouth on it as if with some authority. and my credentials are 30 years in professional racing as a professional engineer, designer , manufacturer and multi time national champion. plus my father was the editor of a major daily newspaper for 40 years… so i have been around the journalism aspect of things… Read more »

Negative Camber

Well, we clearly are not resonating with you on our position. This is a “Blog” not a newspaper or magazine website and we’re not a blog pretending to be a newspaper or magazine by cut-n-paste either. As a blog, that might be a first hint that I am a fan. I actually do have FIA credentials and have been in the paddock for every USGP and we are listed as media with all the teams. I’ve worked with Shell, Ferrari and Pirelli and been to Maranello for a tour of the factory and inside look at their F1 team operation.… Read more »


Todd is more than capable of fighting his own battles, but I feel like I still need to respond here. Look I get it, your dad being in journalism for so long, you’re proud of him, and you view Journalism as with pride, and the “twitter and facebook culture of instant experts” is obviously an affront. And in many cases I would agree with you. But this site is about amateurs sharing opinions on a subject they’re passionate about. And it’s a GOOD one. It’s a safe haven, and Todd is the main reason it’s like that. So. 1. You’re… Read more »

Paul KieferJr

Okay, Jacques, let’s try it this way instead: “EVERYBODY SHUT UP!!!”

Happy now? >:-(


It must be a reporter error. He really meant that *retired* F1 drivers should stop saying bad things about current F1 drivers.


Of course, JV simply missed the entire point of what the drivers have been saying. “It’s not their problem how good or bad the show is on TV.”
Uh, yeah, JV, that’s why they’re not talking about that. Way to read beyond the headlines, dude.

Reminds me of an article I once read…