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Published Time: 08.06.2024 - 21:01:52 Modified Time: 08.06.2024 - 21:01:52

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Daniel Ricciardo was fifth in his RB, by far his best qualifying performance of the season and the perfect response to brutal criticism aimed his way this weekend by legendary former driver Jacques Villeneuve.

“Why’s he still in F1? Why?” former F1 champion Villeneuve said Friday.

“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 that 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.”

Formula 1 commentator Matt Gallagher called Ricciardo’s drive “ridiculous”.

Ricciardo was overjoyed at the result, telling team radio: “F*** yeah.”

“Daniel Ricciardo needs to pay Jacques Villeneuve a bonus for the motivation he’s given him this weekend,” David Croft said in commentary.

“That is by far Daniel Ricciardo’s best qualifying day of the season so far.”

Martin Brundle replied: “I think those notes might be delivered in a fist rather than a handshake”.

It followed an overnight announcement from RB that his teammate Yuki Tsunoda had been locked down by the team for 2025 – leaving the Australian’s hopes of remaining with the team next season.

Tsunoda was just eighth, behind Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, while Lance Stroll and Alex Albon rounded out the top 10.

Earlier, it was a disastrous Q1 exit for Red Bull’s Sergio Perez – the fifth time he had suffered such an ignominious qualifying failure since the start of last season.

“F***,” Perez swore, hitting his car with his hand.