Ricciardo delivers some choice words after Villeneuve comments

Daniel Ricciardo says scathing comments from Jacques Villeneuve at the Canadian Grand Prix made his fifth-place qualifying performance all the sweeter.

Villeneuve is a pundit with Sky Sports at this weekend’s race and questioned Ricciardo’s place on the grid on Friday, saying his image has kept him in the sport over his results and asking: “Why is he still in F1? Why?

“We’re 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’re in F1, maybe you make that effort for a Lewis Hamilton, who’s 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.”


While Ricciardo insists he didn’t know the exact comments that were made but only that Villeneuve had been critical, prior to his top five qualifying result in Montreal.

“I still don’t know what he said, but I heard he’s been talking s**t,” Ricciardo said. “But he always does. I think he’s hit his head a few too many times. I don’t know if he plays ice hockey or something. Anyway, I won’t give him the time of day, but… all those people can suck it! I want to say more, but it’s alright. We’ll leave him behind.”

Speaking to SiriusXM later on, Ricciardo admitted the timing of his qualifying display was particularly satisfying given the comments.

“Yeah, it’s nice… It’s nice to deliver a few ‘eff yous.’ That’s the icing on the cake. It’s obviously nice to shut some people up, but obviously it’s just for me. I know what I’m capable of and I think it’s just frustrating I haven’t been able to get it out of myself.

“You’re always trying to fine-tune the car for sure, but I take a lot of accountability. After Monaco we tried to just put everything on the table and clean a few things up and we had a lot of good energy coming into this weekend, so I’m very happy and a good time for people to talk s**t.”

Ricciardo believes a blunt debriefing session with his RB team after the last race in Monaco helped give him a better chance of carrying his strong performance into Sunday.

“After Monaco, it was a weekend where I was a bit down, probably emotionally after not doing well on a track that I obviously love,” he said. “Everyone around me, the team, engineers, my inner circle as well, I was like, ‘Guys, open book, constructive criticism, give it to me — what do you think I can clean up? Where do you feel I’m maybe missing something?’

“A lot of it was kind of just probably management, like energy management over the course of the weekend. It’s not even what I’m doing in the car, it’s what gets me into the car feeling like I’m…ready to go.

“It was just trying to clean up some of those things, and if there was anything on my mind, try and just get it off my chest. I just got into this weekend feeling certainly a bit lighter and just hungry and happy and ready to say ‘eff you’ to all the people!”

Story originally appeared on Racer