Jacques Villeneuve has questioned why Daniel Ricciardo is still in F1 and believes his “image” has ultimately saved his career in a remarkable rant.

Speaking as a guest pundit for Sky Sports F1 at the Canadian Grand Prix, Villeneuve was heavily critical of Ricciardo’s recent performances at RB and McLaren and indicated he no longer thinks the Australian warrants a place on the grid.

Ricciardo has been outperformed by RB teammate Yuki Tsunoda across the opening eight races of this year but is being lined up for another season at Red Bull’s sister squad.

“Why’s he still in F1? Why?” The 1997 F1 world champion said.

“We are hearing the same thing now for the last four or five years. ‘We have to make the car better for him’. Sorry, it’s been five years of that. No, you are in F1.

“Maybe you make that effort for Lewis Hamilton whose won multiple championships. You don’t make that effort for a driver who can’t cut it.

“If you can’t cut it, go home, there’s someone else to take your place. That’s how it’s always been in racing, it’s the pinnacle of the sport.

“There’s no reason to keep going and to keep finding excuses, and you all talk about that first season or first two seasons, he was beating a Vettel that was burnt out, that was trying to invent things with the car to go win and just making a mess of his weekends.

“Then he was beating for half a season Verstappen when Verstappen was 18 years old, just starting, that was it, he stopped beating anyone after that.”

Asked if he thinks Ricciardo’s career is overrated, Villeneuve said: “I think his image has kept him in F1 more than his actual results.”

Ricciardo was viewed as the favourite to challenge Sergio Perez for the Red Bull seat alongside Max Verstappen, but a largely underwhelming campaign saw him fall out of contention.

Both the 34-year-old and Tsunoda were ultimately overlooked by Red Bull, who have decided to re-sign Perez on a fresh two-year deal.

Despite this, Ricciardo insists he is still dreaming of a return to the Red Bull senior team before the end of his career.