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Daniel Ricciardo

Brundle outlines costly Ricciardo Red Bull exit as 'emotional and flawed'

Martin Brundle has responded to Jacques Villeneuve's attack on Daniel Ricciardo during the Canadian Grand Prix.

Ricciardo Canada
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Ex-F1 driver Martin Brundle has offered his view on the current status of Daniel Ricciardo, who was brutally described as "overrated" by 1997 F1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve.

Villeneuve's staggering comments came during an appearance on Sky Sports F1 during the Canadian Grand Prix, having joined the UK broadcaster's punditry line-up for his home race.

Ricciardo was informed of the comments made by the 53-year-old after qualifying fifth at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, to which the RB driver responded by noting that Villeneuve had been "talking shit".

Now, Brundle has spoken out on Villeneuve's comments and Ricciardo's current form in his Sky Sports column, with the Briton labelling where he thinks is started to go wrong for the eight-time race winner.

"For the record, as it's become a hot topic due to my Sky Sports F1 colleague Jacques Villeneuve expressing his firm opinions, I have fundamental respect for all F1 drivers, not least for Daniel and Jacques, because I know how hard it is to drive such fearsome cars under that spotlight," Brundle wrote.

"Daniel has won eight GPs including an outstanding Monaco victory, scored 32 podiums, and has regularly shown world-class talent. But those results were quite a while ago and I wish he'd not left Red Bull at the end of 2018."

Costly Red Bull departure

Ricciardo was Mark Webber's replacement at Red Bull in 2014 and performed excellently alongside Sebastian Vettel, the Australian was then very much the team's lead driver when Vettel departed and Daniil Kvyat joined. 

However, when Max Verstappen became his team-mate from the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix, things started to change, with their collision in the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix having been a pivotal moment. 

He left Red Bull at the end of 2018 to join Renault and later McLaren for the 2021 season, before taking time away from the sport ahead of replacing Nyck de Vries at RB from last year's Hungarian Grand Prix. 

Brundle views Ricciardo's Red Bull exit as the moment something crucial changed, with the Briton conceding that he wishes the 34-year-old never quit the leading side. 

"That was an emotional and flawed decision, he should have faced up to Max in the best car, then he'd have necessarily raised his game even further.

"Ricciardo never seemed to be quite the same driver again. He clearly still does have speed and race craft, as we witnessed also in the Miami Sprint, but something in his psyche or approach is holding that back and it's costing him opportunity and longevity."

Also interesting:

Max Verstappen hit back after an out-of-sorts Monaco GP, Sergio Perez floundered again - and into a controversial retirement. How much damage can Ferrari and McLaren inflict with Red Bull fighting with one hand tied behind its back, did the Milton Keynes-based team re-sign Perez too soon? After a thoroughly entertaining Canadian GP, host Nick Golding is joined by Ian Parkes and Samuel Coop to analyse all things.

Rather watch than listen to the podcast? Click here

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