‘A driver that can’t cut it’ – Daniel Ricciardo torn apart by Villeneuve on live TV

Michelle Foster
Jacques Villeneuve and Daniel Ricciardo

Jacques Villeneuve v Daniel Ricciardo was the big battle in Canada

Jacques Villeneuve has savaged Daniel Ricciardo, saying he cannot understand the excuses for the Honey Badger who should “go home” and let someone else have his RB seat.

Returning to the Formula 1 grid last season with Red Bull’s junior team, Daniel Ricciardo spoke of his dream of ending his career at the senior outfit with whom he won seven Grands Prix between 2014 and 2018.

Jacques Villeneuve questions ‘why’ is Daniel Ricciardo still in F1

However, that door was closed earlier this week when the team confirmed Sergio Perez had signed a new two-year extension. But even staying at RB for a second full season isn’t guaranteed.

Ricciardo has failed to match his team-mate Yuki Tsunoda, scoring five points to the Japanese driver’s 19, and while Helmut Marko says Tsunoda is “set” to continue, Ricciardo is in a race against reserve driver Liam Lawson for the second seat.

It is clear which way Villeneuve believes RB should go.

“Why’s he still in F1? Why?” said the 1997 World Champion, who is commentating for Sky Sports at the Canadian Grand Prix.

“We are hearing the same thing now for the last four or five years. ‘We have to make the car better for him’. Poor him!

“Sorry, it’s been five years of that. No, you are in F1.

“Maybe you make that effort for Lewis Hamilton who has won multiple championships. You don’t make that effort for a driver that 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.”

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Daniel Ricciardo’s ‘image has kept him in F1 more than his results’

Although Ricciardo won seven races in his five seasons with Red Bull, his move to Renault and then McLaren yielded all of one win with the Aussie P1 for McLaren at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix.

Dropped by the Woking team two years into his three-year deal, he took a reserve driver role with Red Bull before being promoted to replace Nyck de Vries midway through the 2023 season.

Villeneuve, though, isn’t even impressed with Ricciardo’s early results in Formula 1.

“You all talk about that first season or first two seasons,” said the 53-year-old.

“He was beating a [Sebastian] 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 [Max] Verstappen when Verstappen was 18 years old, just starting. Then that was it, he stopped beating anyone after that.”

He added: “I think his image has kept him in F1 more than his actual results.”

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