Toro Rosso are switching from Renault power to Honda engines, despite Honda’s very well documented struggles with McLaren which forced the Woking team to pull the plug three years into a 10-year deal.
Villeneuve has suggested that this decision could eventually lead to the death of Toro Rosso as the deal represents a “huge gamble”.
“I don’t understand Toro Rosso,” said Villeneuve when asked by Motorsport.com.
“They have seen what has been happening for three years. How can they imagine this will help them? OK, there is more money in the account, but to run last?
“Whenever you go and take money to go slower, after two years you pay the price. It’s like when teams start taking slow pay drivers. Two years later, they are dead.
“You have to be careful. McLaren survived it because it’s McLaren. Now we’re talking Toro Rosso.
“It’s a big gamble, unless someone else makes the engine and Honda puts its name on it, which is possible, I guess.”
Villeneuve was also asked whether he felt Honda could turn their fortunes around.
“Why? Have we seen anything to suggest they can?” he replied.
“They need a new engine. The whole project was started wrong. It needs to be a full change. If you take a small team like Toro Rosso, it makes it even more difficult.”