Ricciardo is a Formula One world champion-in-waiting, says Coulthard


Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo is a Formula One champion-in-waiting, according to former McLaren driver David Coulthard. 

Ricciardo, 26, won three races and finished on the podium on five other occasions in his debut season with Red Bull in 2014 but endured a tough campaign last year. 

The Australian driver managed to claim just two podium finishes in 2015 - a second place in Singapore and third in Hungary - but Coulthard says Ricciardo has what it takes to be a future world champion. 

"He's the real deal," Coulthard said. "Unfortunately he doesn't quite have the car right now. 

"Chassis-wise, aerodynamically, Red Bull have a great package. But they just don't have the power plant right now."

Coulthard, who won 13 F1 races in a career spanning 15 years, said Ricciardo just had to be patient for the right opportunity. 

"He's a world champion in waiting. It's just a question of when that opportunity comes along. He has to be a bit patient right now," the 44-year-old added.

"He is on the hit-list of all the top teams, there is no question.

"And [Red Bull owner] Dietrich Mateschitz has always maintained that if a driver doesn't want to stay, then he would never hold them back."