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Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo accused of 'making it personal' with four-letter outburst

A war of words has broken out between Jacques Villeneuve and Daniel Ricciardo.

Ricciardo Canada
Article
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Daniel Ricciardo has been urged to be a better role model after making his feud with Jacques Villeneuve "personal".

F1 world champion Villeneuve savaged Ricciardo when asked for an assessment of the Australian in his role as pundit for Sky Sports F1 throughout the Canadian Grand Prix weekend.

Villeneuve, champion in 1997, questioned why Ricciardo was still in F1, that excuses have been made for the 36-year-old "can't cut it", and that only "his image has kept him in F1 more than his actual results".

Ricciardo naturally responded in kind, claiming Villeneuve had "been talking s**t, but he always does", adding that "he’s hit his head a few too many times. So I don’t know if he plays ice hockey or something".

In an interview with Sky Sports F1 after qualifying fifth for the race in Montreal, Ricciardo also stated he would not give Villeneuve "the time of the day", before then telling him to "eat s**t".

Asked whether he should at least respect Ricciardo's qualifying performance after he claimed fifth on the grid, Villeneuve replied: "Yes, it all happens out on the race track."

But he then added: “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, and professional because 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, but ultimately you will get criticism."

Although Villeneuve took a degree of credit for Ricciardo's best qualifying result of the season, he feels its only the top of the iceberg in terms of what he wants to see from him.

He added: "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."

In declaring that "the pressure is on him", he continued: "A lot of pressure was put on his shoulders, and it worked out [in qualifying].

"He’s had one good sprint race in Miami, one good qualifying, that’s not enough for a full season, he needs more of that.”

Asked if he was standing by his comments, Villeneuve replied: “Definitely."

Although Ricciardo proved a point in qualifying, Villeneuve concluded: "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.”

After being handed a five-second penalty for a false start, Ricciardo scored his first points in a grand prix this season by finishing eighth.

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