Stuttgart, Germany - Former Formula One driver Gerhard Berger believes Red Bull racer Daniel Ricciardo has the goods to win the world championship - which would make hime the first Australian to do so since Alan Jones in 1980.
Berger said on Thursday, ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix on 22 June: “He hasn't made any mistakes this season - if the car were to fit right, he could become world champion.”
“This is a new star.”
Ricciardo, 24, heads to Spielberg having won the Canadian Grand Prix - his first F1 victory - last weekend. He’s currently ranked third in the Drivers’ standings with 79 points, behind the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg (140) and Lewis Hamilton (118).
Ricciardo's team-mate, the four-times reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel, is fifth with 60 points.
Berger said: “We know how fast and good Vettel is. But Ricciardo is the benchmark at the moment - and that in a very likeable manner.”
Ricciardo finished third in the Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix races after taking fourth in Malaysia and Bahrain.
He actually finished the season-opening Australian Grand Prix second - but was disqualified for using too much fuel.