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Villeneuve Blasts Ricciardo as “Unprofessional” and “Childish”: Reignites Feud Amid Montreal Controversy



Jacques Villeneuve has unleashed new criticisms targeting Daniel Ricciardo, branding him as "unprofessional" and "childish."

1997 Formula One world champion Jacques Villeneuve has initiated a new verbal assault on Daniel Ricciardo, perpetuating their ongoing feud.

The controversy began in Montreal on Friday when Villeneuve openly challenged Ricciardo's continued presence in F1 during a live broadcast on Sky Sports, citing his recent lackluster performances.

Ricciardo made a strong comeback on the track by securing fifth in the qualifying round, then responded to Villeneuve's remarks by jokingly suggesting that the ex-Williams racer might have suffered a head injury during a hockey game.

Despite experiencing his most successful weekend of the season by finishing eighth, Villeneuve maintained his previous criticisms, emphasizing that Ricciardo must demonstrate more consistent performance and suggesting that such critique is necessary for his improvement.

In a conversation with, Villeneuve intensified his critique of Ricciardo, describing his behavior as “immature” and “lacking professionalism” in response to the earlier remarks.

"Daniel Ricciardo is a touchy topic," he mentioned. "Pointing out his faults is always a gamble since his team, the press, and his social media followers fiercely defend him. It's a sensitive issue, and regardless of whether your criticism is meant to be helpful, you're likely to face backlash and stir up anger among many people."

In the end, the outcomes haven't lived up to expectations. He performed excellently at Red Bull, but his performance has significantly dropped since departing the team. His comeback hasn't been as impressive as anticipated. He managed to qualify well, followed by a mediocre race performance that was compromised by a premature start, resulting in a penalty. Ultimately, he managed to earn points, but that was largely due to errors made by competitors ahead of him.

He maintained a good record and secured a few points, however, in the grand scheme of the season, this achievement is quite minimal and he must step up his game. It's as straightforward as that. The results speak for themselves and this applies to all drivers. Clearly, my comments affected him since they seemed to speed him up, and even Christian Horner believed it served as an encouragement, possibly something he required. On a positive note, he certainly gained significant media attention from this situation!

It's astonishing how some drivers respond in the media these days. Their behavior is utterly unprofessional, irrelevant to the industry, and can be outright offensive, which is surprising. It’s hard to believe Daniel would make such comments to the press, so that strikes me as odd. When he mentions someone getting a head injury from playing Ice Hockey, it raises questions about the constructiveness and professionalism of such a statement.

"Criticizing Daniel's behavior as immature, the speaker emphasized the importance of setting a good example, pointing out that such actions might be mistakenly seen as appropriate. The speaker highlighted the necessity of being mindful about one's words, especially when claiming indifference to public opinion. They stressed that resilience is crucial in Formula 1, where criticism is inevitable, and advised against making remarks that are both juvenile and offensive."

Ricciardo has faced challenges in finding his rhythm after departing from Renault and joining McLaren at the conclusion of 2020.

Lando Norris outperformed him, leading to his replacement by Oscar Piastri.

Villeneuve believes that alongside Yuki Tsunoda, the situation reflects the adage, "the truth hurts."

"He seems to be quite shielded for reasons unknown, yet Daniel Ricciardo carries a significant presence," he continued. "It works in his favor, but just think what it would be like if his performance matched this image? His outcomes haven't met the anticipated standards, and his performance lacks consistency, so it's clear he's aware he's not performing at his best, and his achievements haven't been satisfactory. It's really as straightforward as that.

"There's no issue in making that statement. While expressing it may cause discomfort, you're in Formula 1; simply accept it and progress. Sometimes, the truth is painful."

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