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Jacques Villeneuve Questions Daniel Ricciardo’s F1 Career in Scathing Rant: ‘Why’s He Still in F1?



"Why is he still in F1?" – Jacques Villeneuve's blistering critique of Daniel Ricciardo

1997 Formula 1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve delivers a harsh criticism of Daniel Ricciardo's performance.

Jacques Villeneuve has raised doubts about why Daniel Ricciardo remains in Formula 1, suggesting that it is primarily Ricciardo’s “image” that has preserved his career, in a strikingly critical commentary.

While serving as a guest analyst for Sky Sports F1 during the Canadian Grand Prix, Villeneuve offered strong criticism of Ricciardo's recent showings with Red Bull and McLaren. He suggested that the Australian driver no longer deserves a spot in Formula 1.

Daniel Ricciardo has been outshone by his Red Bull teammate Yuki Tsunoda in the first eight races of the current season, but he is likely to continue with Red Bull's affiliated team for another year.

"Why is he still racing in Formula 1? Why?" questioned the 1997 Formula 1 world champion.

For the past four or five years, we've been hearing the same excuse: 'We need to improve the car for him.' Frankly, it's been five years of this. This is Formula 1, after all.

"Perhaps you go the extra mile for Lewis Hamilton, a multiple-time champion. But you don't put in that effort for a driver who isn't up to par."

"If you can't perform at the highest level, then step aside because there's always someone ready to replace you. That's just the nature of racing, being the ultimate challenge in the sport."

"There’s no need to continue making excuses. People often mention his performance in the first one or two seasons, but during that time, he was competing against a Vettel who was exhausted and experimenting with the car in an attempt to win, which only led to chaotic race weekends for him."

“He managed to outperform Verstappen for half a season when Verstappen was just 18 and new to the scene, but after that, he didn't surpass anyone.”

When questioned about whether he believes Ricciardo's career is overhyped, Villeneuve responded, "In my opinion, his reputation has sustained his place in F1 more than his performance has."

Daniel Ricciardo was initially seen as the leading candidate to compete with Sergio Perez for a spot on the Red Bull team alongside Max Verstappen. However, his mostly disappointing showings led to him being dropped from the running.

Red Bull ultimately chose not to consider the 34-year-old and Tsunoda, opting instead to offer Perez a new two-year contract.

Nevertheless, Ricciardo maintains that he continues to aspire to rejoin the main Red Bull team before his career concludes.

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