Former world champion Jacques Villeneuve thinks Lewis Hamilton believes he is Jesus Christ.
Hamilton experienced wildly contrasting fortunes during last weekend's German Grand Prix, being eliminated from qualifying on Saturday and then driving through the field on Sunday to win in one of the most chaotic races in recent memory. On Saturday he despairingly knelt by his car after it stopped in Q1, a stark contrast to his emotions 24 hours later as he celebrated with arms wide open on the podium.
The four-time world champion, who makes no secret of his religious beliefs, credited divine intervention for the victory and later called it the greatest drive of his career.
His behaviour has been criticised by the notoriously outspoken Villeneuve, who won the title in 1997 and now works as a TV pundit on Sky Italia.
"He confuses Formula One with Hollywood," he said. "Everything he does is staged. He portrays himself on social media like he is Jesus.
"The way he knelt next to his car after his problem in qualifying looked like the suffering of Christ. And what he said afterwards was the Sermon on the Mount. Then he gestured so dramatically on the podium that everyone could see who sent the sudden rain."
Hamilton's win moved him 17 points clear of title rival Vettel in the championship. Afterwards, he took to Instagram to criticise pundits of U.K. broadcaster Sky Sports for "undermining" him during the coverage of the race, while adding the fact he forgave them for the critical things he felt they had said. At a Mercedes press event in Stuggart this week Toto Wolff revealed he has encouraged Hamilton to be outspoken on social media.