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MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 08: 5th placed qualifier Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Visa Cash App RB speaks to the media after qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Canada at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 08, 2024 in Montreal, Quebec. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

Ricciardo: I think Villeneuve hit his head a few too many times

MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 08: 5th placed qualifier Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Visa Cash App RB speaks to the media after qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Canada at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 08, 2024 in Montreal, Quebec. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

Daniel Ricciardo gave Jacques Villeneuve a piece of his mind after Qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix, a day after the 1997 Formula 1 World Champion suggested the Australian should no longer be in the top flight.

Ricciardo made a statement on the track by qualifying fifth for VCARB, the Red Bull junior team, then took aim at Villeneuve whih had slammed the Australian during the build-up to the race in Montreal.

“I still don’t know what he said, but I heard he’s been talking but he always does,” Ricciardo told reporters. “I think he’s hit his head a few too many times, I don’t know if he plays ice hockey or something.”

Villeneuve, the 1997 F1 champion and son of racing great Gilles Villeneuve, ranted about Ricciardo in a Sky Sports television broadcast.

“Why is he still in F1?” Villeneuve said. “We’re hearing the same thing now for the last four, five years – we have to make it better for him, poor him. It’s been five years of that. Sorry, no, you’re in F1.

“Maybe you make that effort for Lewis Hamilton, who’s won multiple championships. You don’t make that effort for a driver that can’t cut it. Can’t cut it? Go home, there’s someone else who can take your place,” declared Villeneuve.

Occasional good Qualifying does not maketh a Grand Prix driver

MONTREAL, QC - JUNE 08: Racewinner Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Infiniti Red Bull Racing lifts the trophy following his victory during the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 8, 2014 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo won the last of his eight career F1 victories in 2021. The 34-year-old Australian raced to his first F1 victory 10 years ago in Montreal: “I’ve, obviously, been highly motivated to do more than I have been this year. I know how good those results feel, and that’s why I do it, to feel those highs.

“Coming into the week everything felt right. I was really happy to come back to this circuit and drive here because I love it. Today’s 10 years to the day of my first win, and that day changed my life. So there’s just a lot of nice emotions coming into it,” added the Australian.

While Ricciardo doesn’t have a deal set for next season, VCARB said Saturday that fellow driver Yuki Tsunoda will remain with the team.

After the P5 effort on Saturday by Ricciardo, smiling to reporters, Villeneuve made light of the criticism he dished out: “He needed a bit of a push under pressure and it worked, it paid off.” (Additional Reporting by Agnes Carlier)