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Has Ricciardo’s Canada response come too late amid Villeneuve assault?

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And it’s going to take much more than a fifth place in qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix – and a curt response to the 1997 world champion – to safe it.

Unsurprisingly, Villeneuve’s takedown forward of qualifying for the Canadian GP has attracted loads of consideration.

Signed by Sky Sports activities F1 for this weekend, presumably largely for his forthright opinions, it’s tough to disagree with Villeneuve’s evaluation of the eight-time GP winner, who seems to be a shadow of his former self.

“Why’s he nonetheless in F1? Why?” mentioned Villeneuve. “We’re listening to the identical factor now for the final 4 or 5 years. ‘We’ve got to make the automobile higher for him’. Poor him!

“Sorry, it has been 5 years of that. No, you might be in F1.  Possibly you make that effort for Lewis Hamilton who has received a number of championships. You do not make that effort for a driver that may’t minimize it.

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“If you cannot minimize it, go dwelling, there’s another person to take your house. That is the way it’s at all times been in racing, it is the top of the game.

“There is not any cause to maintain going and to maintain discovering excuses.”

Jacques Villeneuve

Photograph by: Erik Junius

Ricciardo responded with one in every of his finest qualifying performances of the season to submit the fifth-quickest time – and in his post-qualifying media session, he hit again at Villeneuve.

He mentioned: “I heard he has been speaking shit, however he at all times does. I believe he has hit his head a couple of too many instances. I do not know if he performs ice hockey or one thing.

“I will not give him the time of day, all these folks can suck it.”

Ricciardo added that he had executed some much-needed self-reflection after the final race in Monaco, which whereas admirable begs the query why it was required within the first place.

Let’s bear in mind he turned down a chance to race in F1 and sought to mutually terminate his cope with McLaren a yr earlier, citing a have to refocus after unsuccessful spells with the Woking workforce and with Renault.

As hypothesis grew about his future in F1, he entered the paddock in Austin for the 2022 US GP driving on a horse whereas wearing a cowboy hat and a Stars and Stripes jacket.

He had appeared to have checked out and was heading off into the sundown.

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, on a horse

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, on a horse

Photograph by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

His resolution to rejoin Crimson Bull in 2023 in a 3rd driver and business position gave cause to additional query his ambition to discover a approach again on the grid.

But he was provided the chance with AlphaTauri as a substitute for the under-performing Nyck de Vries after a profitable Pirelli tyre take a look at driving the RB19 at Silverstone following the British GP.

Crimson Bull noticed his lap instances had been aggressive and importantly he provided them a type of safety that had not existed with de Vries or Yuki Tsunoda on the time, whereas his arrival additionally saved the stress on Sergio Perez.

Quick ahead 11 months and it’s a completely totally different image. Red Bull has the confidence to secure Perez for another two seasons and its sister workforce activated the option on Tsunoda for another year.

It leaves Ricciardo as the one Crimson Bull driver out of contract for 2025 and there’s now a way that, regardless of his sturdy phrases in Montreal post-qualifying, that it might already be too little, too late for the 34-year-old.

His performances have left Crimson Bull underwhelmed and it’s understood there isn’t a business tie-in between Ricciardo and RB’s title sponsor Visa Money App.

In the meantime, its reserve driver Liam Lawson has bided his time on the sidelines since he impressed filling in for Ricciardo for 4 rounds after the latter had damaged his hand in a crash on the Dutch GP.

Daniel Ricciardo, Visa Cash App RB F1 Team and Laurent Mekies, Team Principal, RB F1 Team, on the pit wall

Daniel Ricciardo, Visa Money App RB F1 Staff and Laurent Mekies, Staff Principal, RB F1 Staff, on the pit wall

Photograph by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Lawson underlined his potential with a ninth-placed end in Singapore whereas in his 15 grands prix for the workforce, Ricciardo has additionally solely completed within the factors on the 2023 Mexico Metropolis Grand Prix and the 2024 Miami GP dash.

Lawson, 22, is extremely rated by Crimson Bull and the pure match for RB for subsequent season, plus he can be a tick for the workforce’s younger driver programme with a transfer anticipated to be too quickly for Isack Hadjar, who’s presently second within the F2 championship.

For the meantime, there isn’t a hurry for RB to verify its line-up for 2025 however that mentioned, time is operating out for Ricciardo to stake a critical declare, ought to he even want to stay in F1.

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