McLaren struggled badly during testing in Barcelona owing to relentless gremlins in the MCL32's Honda power unit, and over the full eight day programme the two drivers were only able to complete eleven consecutive laps between them. Speaking to Belgium's RTBF, Villeneuve said: "It isn't easy for Stoffel, but it isn't all lost either."
"The only thing left to do is to try and beat Fernando Alonso. It's still better to be in a team like McLaren than staying home doing nothing. He's a professional driver who doesn't have to bring money to the team, a rare occurrence these days. He should feel happy about that."
"He's also racing alongside a man of great talent, whom he can measure up to," Villeneuve continued. "How he will perform against Fernando Alonso will define his value...or not. If he was racing against another new young driver, beating him or not would not mean much."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing