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Jacques Villeneuve vs Daniel Ricciardo: Damon Hill Jumps Into the Debate to Pick His Choice

Aishwary Gaonkar

Jacques Villeneuve vs Daniel Ricciardo: Damon Hill Jumps Into the Debate to Pick His Choice

The Jacques Villeneuve vs Daniel Ricciardo verbal tussle became one of the headline stories of the 2024 Canadian GP. Out of nowhere, the Aussie had to deal with some harsh remarks about his place and future in F1 from the 1997 champion. While Ricciardo gave a strong reply via his words as well as his on-track performance, the rest of the F1 community is still reflecting on the nuances of this clash. Damon Hill also gave his perspective on Ricciardo and Villeneuve’s standpoints.

Speaking on the F1 Nation podcast, Hill stated how everyone has been thinking about the eight-time Grand Prix winner’s slump in form over the past few seasons. He mentioned how Villeneuve “will say what everyone else is frightened of saying”.

However, the 1996 champion also cited, “I think, it was a little bit hard and blurted out quite brutally as that, but that’s Jacques [Villeneuve].”

Hill also referred to the “rough ride” Ricciardo has been on this season, as has been the case for him since 2021-22. The #3 driver had failed to score points until the Miami GP this year, while his teammate, Yuki Tsunoda, had been doing the heavy lifting at V-CARB.

While Tsunoda scored points finishes, Ricciardo struggled to get even close to the top 10 and also had two DNFs [in Japan and China]. Hence, it certainly raised the question of whether the Aussie driver deserves his seat in F1 or whether he would be able to retain it for 2025.

Villeneuve just put those questions out in the open, which may have pushed Ricciardo’s buttons. Regardless, it motivated the 34-year-old to produce an outstanding qualifying performance and put his V-CARB-01 in fifth place in Montreal.

The Honey Badger then carried over his form to the Grand Prix by finishing eighth, and in the process, proved his mettle by scoring his first points of the 2024 season. However, Villeneuve’s counterpoint about Ricciardo‘s consistency still stands valid as the Australian’s career has taken a nosedive since his Red Bull exit.

Peter Windsor highlights the root cause behind Daniel Ricciardo’s downfall

Several opinions came about Villeneuve’s blunt criticism of Ricciardo. F1 journalist Peter Windsor went a step forward to delve into the root cause of the Australian’s career nosediving. He cited how Ricciardo should never have left Red Bull in 2019.

Windsor cited how moving to Renault was a “massive mistake” by Ricciardo. He then even accused how the multiple-time Grand Prix winner chose “money” and “lost his internal… burning ambition, fire, whatever you want to call it” at the Enstone-based outfit.

Back then Renault was nowhere near fighting for wins like Red Bull. Yet, Ricciardo ignored the Austrian team’s wish to retain him, also owing to his changing dynamics with a young and aggressive Max Verstappen as his teammate. After going to the French team, Ricciardo’s consistency and performance started to taper off too.

Cut to 2023, it was Red Bull who helped the Aussie to return to the F1 grid after his McLaren stint ended miserably. It is ironic how the Austrian team helped Ricciardo salvage his career as it is the same team the Honey Badger left in the first place a few years ago.

However, the #3 driver has not delivered on their expectations and once again flattered to deceive with one or two headline performances like Mexico 2023 and Montreal 2024. If Ricciardo wishes to shut down his critics like Villeneuve for long, he needs to deliver such performances consistently.

Red Bull and V-CARB are still searching for the ‘Daniel Ricciardo’ of 2014-18. However, all they have got are flashes of that talented late-braker’s brilliance!

Post Edited By:Vidit Dhawan

About the author

Aishwary Gaonkar

Aishwary Gaonkar


Aishwary Gaonkar is the F1 Editor at The SportsRush. Having written over 757 articles about different aspects of the sport, Aishwary passionately likes to dive deep into the intricacies of the on-track events. He has been an avid F1 fan since the 2011 season, amid Sebastian Vettel's dominance. Besides the 4-time champion, he also likes Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen. Among the current drivers, he thinks Charles Leclerc and Oscar Piastri have championship-winning caliber. Longing for a Ferrari world championship, Aishwary is also a fan of Aston Martin's underdog story and their bid to win the F1 championship. Other than F1, he follows tennis and cricket too.

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