SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 08: New hot lap record holder, Daniel Ricciardo of Infiniti Red Bull Racing shares a joke with a team member at the 2014 Top Gear Festival Sydney at Sydney Motorsport Park on March 8, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images for Top Gear Festival Sydney)

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.