Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton have both praised Daniel Ricciardo for his “fantastic” performances so far this season.
Ricciardo won Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix after a thrilling battle with both drivers, passing Hamilton sublimely through Turns 2 and 3 before a late move on Alonso at Turn 1 to take victory. The win was Ricciardo's second of the season so far – with team-mate Sebastian Vettel having yet to win a race – and Alonso said the fact that he is beating Vettel shows just how good Ricciardo has been this year.
“I think he's leading the champion team; that says all,” Alonso said. “He's doing a fantastic job this year and now he had a few battles. In Hockenheim I had a very fresh tyre which probably allowed me to pass with some advantage but even with that it was not easy.
“[In Hungary], I really didn't have the tools to fight but I tried to do my best – but definitely, congratulations to him for [the win in Hungary], for the whole championship and it's going to be an interesting fight in the next couple of years.”
Hamilton agreed with Alonso's comments and said that Ricciardo has already marked himself out to be “one of the best drivers” on the grid.
“Yeah, as Fernando said, he's been driving fantastically well from the beginning of the year,” Hamilton said. “So, it's not only now, it's through the whole year he's shown his capability and is going from strength to strength. Not only one of the nicest guys in the paddock but also one of the best drivers here, for sure.”