Daniel Ricciardo offered the best possible response to the brutal criticism expressed by Jacques Villeneuve by qualifying an impressive fifth for the Canadian Grand Prix.

The RB charger secured his best qualifying result of the season, putting his car in P5, hitting back at a what he called a “talking shit” Villeneuve, adding that “all those people can suck it”.

Ahead of qualifying, Ricciardo was facing not just the challenge of a demanding track, but also mounting criticism and an uncertain future at Red Bull.

Ricciardo’s 2024 season has been a disappointing affair year-to-date during while he has been overshadowed by his rapid teammate Yuki Tsunoda whose impressive performances secured him a place at Red Bull for 2025.

This news, announced just before qualifying in Canada, only intensified the spotlight on Ricciardo’s own struggles.

Adding fuel to the fire were Villeneuve’s comment to Sky Sports on Friday when the 1997 F1 World Champion unleashed a scathing attack on Ricciardo, accusing him of making excuses and questioning his place in F1 altogether.

He went further, seemingly diminishing Ricciardo’s achievements at Red Bull and beyond, particularly since becoming Max Verstappen’s teammate in 2016.

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Emerging from Saturday’s shootout, the 34-year-old Aussie addressed the criticism head-on, albeit with a characteristically playful edge.

While admitting he hadn’t paid close attention to Villeneuve’s specific comments, he acknowledged “having heard he’s been talking s**t.” Ricciardo finished the statement with a defiant “all those people can suck it,” clearly aiming at both Villeneuve and his other doubters.

“I still don’t know what he said, but I heard he’s been talking shit,” Ricciardo said. “But he always does.

“I think he’s hit his head a few too many times – I don’t know if he plays ice hockey or something.

“Anyway, won’t give him the time of day, but all those people can suck it. I want to say more but it’s alright. We’ll leave him behind.”

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While his results have fallen short of his own expectations, Ricciardo insisted his motivation hasn’t wavered.

“I’ve obviously been highly motivated to do more than I had been this year,” continued the RB charger who won his first Frand Prix in Montreal exactly ten years ago.

“Obviously Miami was a bit of a one off, but 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 just 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.

“I just felt like I was ready to do some good shit.”

Ricciardo’s strong display has come on the back of a dismal Monaco Grand Prix weekend. But the Aussie regained his confidence as soon as he hit the track on Friday.

“From when we put it down yesterday on track, obviously FP1 not so much, but FP2 a little bit more laps got done, I just had confidence in it,” he explained.

“The car felt good. I was able to slide it and drive a little bit more aggressively. So that just felt like I was getting on top of it.

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“But also, part two is, we’re always going to be trying to perfect the car, but I also have to look at myself and make sure that I’m in a good place to be able to do results like this.

“It’s obviously been a bit harder for me to find that sweet spot this year. I look back at 10 years ago, I think it was kind of effortless.

“After Monaco I tried to just understand… I was always looking at on-track stuff – can I brake later here, or do this and that – but I was like hey, what’s maybe some other things that are affecting my performance?

“Am I coming into a race weekend not feeling energised, or not feeling this or that?”

Ricciardo revealed that after Monaco he requested from his team some “constructive criticism” and asked “what do you think is going wrong?”, which he said led to a “very open chat”.

“I just got into this weekend feeling certainly a bit lighter, and just hungry and happy and ready to say ‘f**k you’ to a few people,” he said, which he certainly did.

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