Martin Brundle comments on savage row between Jacques Villeneuve and Daniel Ricciardo

Martin Brundle comments on savage row between Jacques Villeneuve and Daniel Ricciardo

Martin Brundle has sympathised with both Jacques Villeneuve and Daniel Ricciardo after the pair’s savage war of words over the Canadian Grand Prix weekend.

Ex-F1 driver Villeneuve, who was world champion in 1997, was working as a pundit for Sky Sports F1 in Montreal and questioned why Ricciardo was still in Formula 1 given his recent poor run of form, adding that he believes the Australian’s “image” has kept him in the sport.

Yet Ricciardo, after putting his RB car an impressive fifth on the grid in qualifying, responded firmly on Saturday, saying: “I heard he’s been talking s***. But he always does.”

Villeneuve, 53, then had his say again, accusing Ricciardo of getting “personal” and now Sky F1 commentator and former driver Brundle has weighed in on the row.

“For the record, as it’s become a hot topic due to my Sky Sports F1 colleague Jacques Villeneuve expressing his firm opinions, I have fundamental respect for all F1 drivers, not least for Daniel and Jacques, because I know how hard it is to drive such fearsome cars under that spotlight,” he said in his Sky F1 column.

“Daniel has won eight GPs including an outstanding Monaco victory, scored 32 podiums, and has regularly shown world-class talent.

“But those results were quite a while ago and I wish he’d not left Red Bull at the end of 2018.

Jacques Villeneuve criticised Daniel Ricciardo’s F1 career over the Canadian Grand Prix weekend (Getty)
Jacques Villeneuve criticised Daniel Ricciardo’s F1 career over the Canadian Grand Prix weekend (Getty)

“That was an emotional and flawed decision, he should have faced up to Max in the best car, then he’d have necessarily raised his game even further.

“Ricciardo never seemed to be quite the same driver again. He clearly still does have speed and race craft, as we witnessed also in the Miami sprint, but something in his psyche or approach is holding that back and it’s costing him opportunity and longevity.”

Ricciardo, 34, finished eighth in Sunday’s race, earning four valuable points for Red Bull’s sister team.

Ricciardo secured his first of his nine wins in Formula 1 in Montreal 10 years ago but his seat for 2025 is unconfirmed at this stage, with team-mate Yuki Tsunoda signing on for another year and a potential seat at Red Bull now unavailable after Sergio Perez’s renewal.