Outspoken Formula 1 World Champion turned occasional pundit, Jacques Villeneuve believes that Daniel Ricciardo is a better driver than Max Verstappen, suggesting that the Dutchman has to try too hard to match his Red Bull teammate.
At the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday, the Dutchman was the proverbial bull in a China shop when he slammed the barriers with such force during FP3 that he had to miss qualifying as his team could not get his car repaired in time for the afternoon session.
Verstappen spent his Sunday afternoon in traffic with a race winning car at his disposal, but the 20-year-old kept out of trouble in the race to finish ninth. At the front, Ricciardo never put a foot wrong despite being forced to nurse home an ailing RB14 to claim a famous victory on a day when a rare one-two was very realistic for the Blues.
After the race at the principality, Villeneuve told Sky Italia, “Verstappen makes mistakes in every race and it happens all the time. That’s not a good sign.”
“In Baku, for example, Daniel Ricciardo was a passenger in the crash between the two teammates. He did nothing wrong. If a driver makes constant mistakes then he has to calm down and not drive so fast.”
“If to get to Ricciardo’s level Max has to take more risks and chances it can only mean one thing: Max is not as good as Daniel simple as that.”
“Had they both qualified on the front row maybe neither of them would have won,” declared the 1997 Formula 1 World Champion, suggesting a clash may have been inevitable between the Red Bull drivers, in such close proximity, in the confines of the Monte-Carlo streets.
After six rounds the ‘tale of the tape’ reveals that Ricciardo has two wins to his credit, with 72 points scored thus far he has more than double the 35 points Verstappen has amassed in the same time and he has yet to win this season.
In qualifying, it is 3-3 between the teammates with Ricciardo having made six Q3 appearances to Verstappen’s four. Ricciardo started the Monaco Grand Prix from pole position.