In “Jacques and Gilles” in November’s issue we have both Mark Hughes and Jock Clear telling us how wonderful was the overtaking manoeuvre by Jacques Villeneuve at Estoril. Then Eoin Young perpetuates the story in the December issue.
I will concede that an attempt to pass Michael Schumacher at that point was audacious. However, Schumacher, being acknowledged as the fastest driver through any given corner, could have put Villeneuve in the weeds at the blink of an eye, yet not only did Villeneuve receive plenty of room but we also had a cockpit shot of Schumacher looking at him. It is my assertion that Schumacher is making sure Villeneuve is OK. Schumacher let Villeneuve by knowing that he was in a much better position to damage Hill, which proved to be the case.
Should anyone doubt that, then I refer them to how savagely Schumacher is prepared to defend corners an example being the last-ditch, desperate attempt to regain the road in front of Damon Hill in Australia in 1994. Or did he deliberately sabotage Hill’s race as so many truly believe?
We have all seen the inordinately friendly relationship developing between Schumacher and Villeneuve, with both acting very coolly towards Hill. Also, let us not forget that Hill is, without doubt, the only driver who has ‘rattled’ Schumacher.
Denis Wright, London, SE23.