Ricciardo only in F1 because of his ‘image’

Mar.2 (GMM) 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve has lashed out at one of the sport’s most popular personalities.

He thinks Daniel Ricciardo, the always-smiling and cheerful 34-year-old who has resurrected his career at RB after being dropped by McLaren in 2022, doesn’t deserve to be back in Formula 1 purely on merit.

“Ricciardo is a pure product of image and modern social media,” Villeneuve told Betideas.

“You can’t base his long career on results. You just can’t. They don’t stack up,” said the Canadian, referring to Ricciardo’s 8 wins from approaching 250 grand prix starts.

“It’s amazing. He can thank Netflix and all that kind of stuff. His smile, his attitude in the paddock in front of the camera. Ultimately, even against (Yuki) Tsunoda he doesn’t do brilliantly.

“But he brings value to F1 and that’s why he is there. There are many drivers who are as quick as him but don’t have his image,” added Villeneuve, 52. “So, you might as well take the one with the image.”

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