Villeneuve Addresses Ricciardo's 'Personal' Response Following Heavy Criticism

Monday, 10 June 2024 at 18:00
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1997 Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve commented on the response that he got from Daniel Ricciardo after slamming him.
Jacques Villeneuve made some very ruthless comments about Daniel Ricciardo and his racing form ahead of the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix.
The 53-year-old not only dismissed the Honey Badger's career as it is, but he also openly asked what Ricciardo is still doing in F1 and suggested that a driver in his position should leave the seat to someone else.
The Australian RB driver had two responses to that. The first came when he qualified in P5 (RB's best qualifying result of the season), and the second came in the interview following the qualification.
Ricciardo suggested Villeneuve probably hit his head a few too many times while playing ice hockey and that he would have more say, but he will "leave him [Villeneuve] behind."
The Honey Badger then scored P8, his first Grand Prix point-finish of the season. Following the race, the 1997 Champion returned to the response that he received from Ricciardo, and told Sky Sports:

"His reaction was a little bit personal and he's a role model. Like all these 20 [drivers], you're at the top level, you have to be responsible in your answers, professional."

"Kids are listening to you. You cannot make it personal. I'm happy to have learned that I knocked myself out too often playing ice hockey."

The 53-year-old Canadian, like every driver, received a fair share of criticism in his career, and he asserted someone like Ricciardo should respond better.

"But ultimately, you will get criticism; you need a thick skin, and I got under his skin, but it got better for his driving. But it's not enough, he needs to do more of this."

"The pressure is on him. A lot of pressure was put on his shoulders, and it worked out. He's had one good Sprint race in Miami and one good qualifying. That's not enough for a full season; he needs more of that."

When asked if he still stood by his initial comments about the Honey Badger, the 1997 World Champion said he did, as it will take more than one weekend for Ricciardo to prove he deserves to be in F1.

"Yes. He was quick, but you're only as good as your last few results. We need the same thing for the next few race weekends."