Daniel Ricciardo fires back at his F1 critics in Canada

Staff WritersAP
Daniel Ricciardo has sent a message to Jacques Villeneuve by qualifying fifth for the Canadian GP. (AP PHOTO)
Camera IconDaniel Ricciardo has sent a message to Jacques Villeneuve by qualifying fifth for the Canadian GP. (AP PHOTO) Credit: AAP

Daniel Ricciardo has let Jacques Villeneuve hear it at the Canadian Grand Prix, a day after the former Canadian driver suggested he should no longer be in Formula 1.

Ricciardo made a statement on the track by qualifying fifth for Red Bull junior team RB on Saturday, then took aim at Villeneuve.

"I still don't know what he said, but I heard he's been talking ... but he always does," Ricciardo said.

"I think he's hit his head a few too many times, I don't know if he plays ice hockey or something."

Villeneuve, the 1997 F1 champion and son of racing great Gilles Villeneuve, ranted about Ricciardo in a Sky Sports television broadcast.

"Why is he still in F1?" Villeneuve said.

"We're hearing the same thing now for the last four, five years — we have to make it better for him, poor him. It's been five years of that. Sorry, no, you're in F1.

"Maybe you make that effort for Lewis Hamilton, who's won multiple championships. You don't make that effort for a driver that can't cut it. Can't cut it? Go home, there's someone else who can take your place."

Ricciardo won the last of his eight career F1 victories in 2021. The 34-year-old Australian raced to his first F1 victory 10 years ago in Montreal.

"I've, obviously, been highly motivated to do more than I have been this year," Ricciardo said.

"I know how good those results feel, and that's why I do it, to feel those highs.

"Coming into the week everything felt right. I was really happy to come back to this circuit and drive here because I love it. Today's 10 years to the day of my first win, and that day changed my life. So there's just a lot of nice emotions coming into it."

While Ricciardo doesn't have a deal set for next season, RB said Saturday that fellow driver Yuki Tsunoda will remain with the team.

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