1997 F1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve has launched a fresh attack on Daniel Ricciardo as their war of words continues.

It all kicked off during the Montreal weekend on Friday when Villeneuve questioned live on Sky Sports why Ricciardo is still in F1 amid his poor form.

Ricciardo hit back on-track with fifth in qualifying before addressing Villeneuve’s comments, quipping that the former Williams driver had been hit on the head while playing hockey.

While the Australian did enjoy his best weekend of the year, securing eighth in the race, Villeneuve stood by his comments, stressing the need for Ricciardo to show greater consistency and that he needed that criticism to perform.

Speaking to CryptoSportsBetting.ltd, Villeneuve doubled down on his criticism of Ricciardo, labelling him as “childish” and “unprofessional” because of his reaction to the initial comments.

“Daniel Ricciardo is a hot potato,” he said. “It’s always risky to criticise him because he’s extremely protected by his team and the media and by fans on social media. It’s a burnt subject, even if you say something constructive, you’ll get burnt one way or another and you’ll have a lot of people who get angry.

“Ultimately, the results have not been there. He was really good at Red Bull and since he left them, it’s been very difficult and his return hasn’t been flamboyant. He had a good qualifying session and then an ok race yesterday marred by the false start where he got a penalty and in the end, he scored points because drivers in front of him messed up.

“He kept his nose clean, he brought home some points but that means very little in the context of the season and he needs to do more than that. It’s that simple. The scoreboard doesn’t lie and it’s like that for every driver. Obviously I got under his skin because it made him go faster and even Christian Horner thought that it gave him a bit of a boost and maybe he needed that. At least he got a lot of media mileage out of this!

“What I find incredible is the reaction that some of these drivers have nowadays in the media. It’s completely unprofessional and has nothing to do with the business and it can be personally insulting which is amazing. I can’t imagine Daniel saying that to other media so that’s weird. If he says that someone hit his head playing Ice Hockey, how constructive and how professional is that?

“It’s very childish and people like Daniel are role models and they think that’s the right way to act. You have to be careful with that. I found that really strange when someone says I don’t care what people say. You need to have tough skin, in F1 you will be criticised and you have to take it. Don’t say something childish and insulting.”

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) RB on the grid. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, Canada, Race

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) RB on the grid. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9,…

Ricciardo has struggled for form since leaving Renault at the end of 2020 for McLaren.

He was dismantled by Lando Norris, and ultimately dropped for Oscar Piastri.

It’s been a similar story alongside Yuki Tsunoda, and Villeneuve feels like it’s a case of “the truth hurts”.

“I have no idea why Daniel Ricciardo is so protected but he has a huge aura around him,” he added. “Good for him but imagine if he could back that up with results? He’s not lived up to expectations and he’s not consistent so he knows he’s not up to speed and he hasn’t had results that have been good enough. It’s that simple.

“There’s nothing wrong with saying that. Saying it might hurt but you’re in F1, just take it and move on. The truth hurts.”