Jacques Villeneuve Takes Aim at Daniel Ricciardo, Claims Popularity, Not Skill, Sustains His F1 Career

Jacques Villeneuve Takes Aim at Daniel Ricciardo, Claims Popularity, Not Skill, Sustains His F1 Career

Former Formula 1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve has delivered a blunt assessment of Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo, asserting that Ricciardo’s enduring presence in the sport is primarily a result of his widespread popularity rather than his driving prowess.

Ricciardo’s Relevance Tied to Image and Social Media

Villeneuve, once the face of Williams and a champion in 1997, expressed his views on Ricciardo’s career, stating, “Ricciardo is a pure product of image and modern-day social media. You can’t base his long career on results. They don’t stack up.”

According to Villeneuve, Ricciardo’s smile, attitude in front of the camera, and overall image, coupled with platforms like Netflix’s Drive To Survive series, contribute to his continued presence in Formula 1.

Villeneuve Emphasizes the Influence of Image in F1

In a no-holds-barred critique, Villeneuve remarked, “There are many drivers who are as quick as him [Ricciardo] but don’t have his image.

So, you might as well take the one with the image.” The fiery Canadian questioned Ricciardo’s skill, attributing his extended career to the marketability created by his persona rather than exceptional on-track performances.

Ricciardo Yet to Respond to Villeneuve’s Criticism

As of now, Daniel Ricciardo has not publicly responded to Jacques Villeneuve’s scathing criticism. The timing of Villeneuve’s remarks coincides with the upcoming Bahrain Grand Prix, where Ricciardo, driving for the Visa Cash App RB team, aims to prove his detractors wrong and showcase his racing abilities.

Ricciardo’s Confidence Ahead of Bahrain Grand Prix

Heading into the Bahrain Grand Prix, Ricciardo remains confident despite the controversy, stating, “It [preparation] has been good …

I think some things have improved, which is always nice.” The 34-year-old driver, partnered with Japan’s Yuki Tsunoda, is optimistic about their performance following positive results in pre-season testing.

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