Lewis Hamilton has become the latest figure within Formula 1 to heap praise upon Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo following the Australian driver’s superb start to the 2014 season.
After moving up from Toro Rosso at the beginning of the year, Ricciardo has claimed two race wins and currently lies third in the championship behind the all-dominant Mercedes drivers.
Few expected him to establish himself as a front-running driver so quickly with Red Bull, and even fewer predicted that he would enjoy a 43-point lead over teammate and four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel after eleven races of the season.
Hamilton may have lost out to Ricciardo at the Hungarian Grand Prix, but he showed no signs of sour grapes and had nothing but good to say when speaking about the Australian to the BBC.
“He’s been driving fantastically well from the beginning of the year,” Hamilton said. “He’s shown his capability and is going from strength to strength.
“He’s not only one of the nicest guys in the paddock, but also one of the best drivers here, for sure.”
Ricciardo has made a big impression on the Formula 1 community in 2014, proving himself to be more than up to the challenge of racing for the world champion team.
With two grand prix victories now under his belt, the target for the Australian will be to keep up his good form and finish the year as the ‘best of the rest’ behind Hamilton and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in the drivers’ championship.