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Jacques Villeneuve fires back after ‘personal’ attack by Daniel Ricciardo

Jacques Villeneuve has fired back and accused Daniel Ricciardo of getting “personal” in the pair’s feisty war of words over the Canadian Grand Prix weekend.

Villeneuve, the 1997 F1 world champion, criticised the Australian’s career in F1 while working as a pundit for Sky Sports, insisting Ricciardo’s “image” is what has kept him in the sport.

Yet Ricciardo, after putting his RB car an impressive fifth on the grid in qualifying, responded firmly on Saturday, saying: “I heard he’s been talking s***. But he always does.

“I think he’s hit his head a few too many times. So I don’t know if he plays ice hockey or something.”

Asked about Ricciardo’s comments, Villeneuve responded on Sunday: “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, professional.

“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, 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.”

Ricciardo finished eighth in Sunday’s race, earning four valuable points for Red Bull’s sister team.

Jacques Villeneuve has criticised Daniel Ricciardo’s F1 career (Getty)
Jacques Villeneuve has criticised Daniel Ricciardo’s F1 career (Getty)

On Ricciardo, Villeneuve added: “The pressure is on him. A lot of pressure was put on his shoulders, and it worked out. 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: “Yes.

“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.”

Ricciardo secured his first of nine wins in Formula 1 in Montreal 10 years ago, but his seat for 2025 is unconfirmed at this stage.