Formula 1

2024 Canadian Grand Prix: Ricciardo Sends Message to Former F1 Driver after P5 Result in Qualifying

2 Mins read
Photo: Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

Daniel Ricciardo has sent a message to Jacques Villeneuve after the Formula 1 world champion questioned why the Australian is still racing in Formula 1.

Ricciardo secured an impressive fifth place start in qualifying on Saturday afternoon in Montreal – a much needed result after the criticism from Villeneuve and a difficult start to 2024 in terms of consistency. The eight time race winner will start ahead of his teammate for the first time since the Chinese Grand Prix, and will be hoping to convert this exceptional result into points on race day at the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix.

Villeneuve went on a live television rant during Sky Sports F1’s coverage, asking why Ricciardo was still in the sport and questioning his achievements since leaving Oracle Red Bull Racing in 2018.

“Why’s he still in F1? Why?”

“We are hearing the same thing now for the last four or five years. ‘We have to make the car better for him’. Sorry, it’s been five years of that. No, you are in F1. Maybe you make that effort for Lewis Hamilton whose won multiple championships. You don’t make that effort for a driver who can’t cut it.

“If you can’t cut it, go home, there’s someone else to take your place. That’s how it’s always been in racing, it’s the pinnacle of the sport. There’s no reason to keep going and to keep finding excuses, and you all talk about that first season or first two seasons, he was beating a Vettel that was burnt out, that was trying to invent things with the car to go win and just making a mess of his weekends.

“Then he was beating for half a season Verstappen when Verstappen was 18 years old, just starting, that was it, he stopped beating anyone after that.”

Although he wasn’t aware of the comments before qualifying, Ricciardo sent a bold message to Villeneuve when he spoke to the media after the race.

“I heard he’s been talking. I won’t give him the time of day but those people can suck it. I want to say more but we’ll leave him behind.”

Photo: Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

Moving onto his performance in qualifying Ricciardo said: “From when we put it down yesterday, I just had confidence in it, the car felt good, I was able to drive a little bit more aggressively so I just felt like I was getting on top of it. I felt like the car was good.

“We’re always going to be trying to perfect the car but I also have to look at myself and make sure that I’m in a good place to be able to do results like this. It’s obviously been a bit harder for me to find that sweet spot this year and I look back at 10 years ago [when he won at this venue], I think it was kind of effortless.

“After Monaco, I tried to just understand, I was always looking at the on track stuff and I can brake later here or do this and that but it was like ‘okay, there are maybe some other things that are affecting my performance. Am I coming into a race weekend not feeling energised or not feeling this or that?’

“I think I just had a good little bit of self therapy after Monaco and just sat back and had a look at maybe the things I’m doing away from the track or maybe giving too much of my time to people and by the time I get to race day, I’m a little bit more flat.

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