Jacques Villeneuve slams Fernando Alonso's Indy 500 critics

Fernando Alonso of McLaren Honda in the paddock during previews ahead of the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on April 28, 2016
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Jacques Villeneuve hits out at drivers critical of Fernando Alonso's decision to tackle the Indy 500 next month.

Jacques Villeneuve has hit out at drivers critical of Fernando Alonso's decision to tackle the Indy 500 next month.

Some of Alonso's rivals - notably Romain Grosjean and Nico Hulkenberg - questioned the wisdom of Spaniard Alonso taking on the dangerous American oval race with little preparation.

"I've already said that I think what he's doing shows that he's a real driver," Villeneuve, the 1997 world champion and a past Indy 500 winner, told Spanish daily AS.

Asked what he means by 'real driver', the French Canadian explained: "Well, all you have to do is listen to what other drivers have said about his decision.

"I heard Nico Hulkenberg and Romain Grosjean giving their opinion about what Alonso is doing - Hulkenberg said it's dangerous, that he wouldn't do it, that he did Le Mans because it was different.

"It sounds like excuses. I think there are two classes of drivers. You're either an Alonso or you're a Rosberg. And Hulkenberg is a Rosberg."

Next up on the F1 calendar is the Russian Grand Prix next weekend.

Niki Lauda watches the action during final practice ahead of the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 7, 2014
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1Ferrari102
2Mercedes99
3Red Bull47
4Force India17
5Williams-Mercedes16
6Toro Rosso12
7Haas8
8Renault2
9Sauber0
10McLaren0
DriversTeamPoints
1Sebastian VettelFerrari68
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes61
3Valtteri BottasMercedes38
4Kimi RaikkonenFerrari34
5Max VerstappenRed Bull25
6Daniel RicciardoRed Bull22
7Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes16
8Sergio PerezForce India14
9Carlos SainzToro Rosso10
10Kevin MagnussenHaas4
11Romain GrosjeanHaas4
12Esteban OconForce India3
13Nico HulkenbergRenault2
14Daniil KvyatToro Rosso2
15Fernando AlonsoMcLaren0
16Marcus EricssonSauber0
17Antonio GiovinazziSauber0
18Jolyon PalmerRenault0
19Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren0
20Pascal WehrleinSauber0
21Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes0