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Red Bull racer Daniel Ricciardo loves Montreal's track and aura, and gets the parking rules

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Among the impressive performances at Saturday's Canadian F1 Grand Prix qualifying runs, Australian Daniel Ricciardo's fifth-place finish stood out.

Ricciardo won the Montreal race in 2014 and placed third in 2017, but was criticized by former world Champion Jacques Villeneuve.

The 1997 world's top racer from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec said Ricciardo's "image' rather than his skill extended his time on Red Bull's team. Montreal's Gilles-Villeneuve circuit is named after Jacques's father.

"Top five!" Ricciardo said in response to the criticism. "I've been quick all weekend. We're less than two tenths from pole, so eat s&*t!"

When it comes to Montreal, Ricciardo has nothing but kind words.

"In certain places, you just get this feel good feeling," he told CTV News. "There's a bit of an aura that I get here. Obviously, I had my first win so there's a lot of emotions when I'm back here."

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo from Australia celebrates after winning the Canadian Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Sunday, June 8, 2014 in Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz, The Canadian Press)

He said the circuit is "amazing."

"It's got a lot of go-cart characteristics, so it brings us back to a little bit of our childhood," said Ricciardo. "It brings out probably the best in me."

Team RB driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia steers his car at the hairpin turn during the qualifying session, Saturday, June 8, 2024 at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. (Jacques Boissinot, The Canadian Press)

Race fan Phanindra Kumar is in Montreal from Toronto and said that Ricciardo struggled recently because the cars did not fit his style.

"He is adapting and Red Bull always had faith in him and hopefully he's back," said Kumar. "He showed glimpses of performance last year but hopefully he keeps it going and is consistent this year."

Ricciardo showed his skill at deciphering Montreal parking signs as well, able to explain a particularly confusing sign to TSN 690 Radio with a descriptor on the change in rules from winter (when there are no restrictions) to spring (when street cleaning starts).

"In the winter, they start the year nice," he said. "Like 'Hey! We'll give you free parking, but then, by the time April arrives, ain't no more freebies no more.'"

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