Former Australian F1 driver Mark Webber says compatriot Daniel Ricciardo is already a faster driver than he ever was during his 12 year career.
Ricciardo is one of the hottest young talents on the F1 circuit, but after enjoying a breakout season with Red Bull in 2014, he endured a disappointing 2015.
But Webber, who won nine races for Red Bull between 2009 and 2013, before retiring from the sport, allowing Ricciardo to take his place, believes the young Aussie is on the verge of being a title contender.
"Obviously he is extremely quick," Webber told CNN.
"He's got a lot of experience so he's now one of the most experienced guys at the front pushing for victories, pushing for championships. He definitely has championships in him in the future. I guess just put the right scenario on his doorstep and he'll capture that I am sure."
"He needs the right car to get the job done, obviously we know that. He's got to get himself in that scenario again, which he had a few years ago. And he is more than capable of that.
"I think he is quicker and faster than I ever was, so he is in good shape there, and has a good chance to do well and continue to fly the flag for more Aussies coming over."
Webber said the Ricciardo's success in Formula One is crucial to ensuring more young Australian drivers continue to come through the ranks of motor racing.
"For us to come through and get into Formula One as Australians, we know the strike rate is extremely low. I think there was a 21 or 22-year gap between Alan Jones winning a race and myself winning a race
"To get points and podiums is really really hard, even to arrive in Formula One and keep a long-term contract was difficult for Australians. So to have such a quick turnover, to have Daniel in my slipstream if you like, we are competing and we are in good hands."