Following Verstappen’s eighth victory of the season at the Circuit of the Americas last time out, he sits 12 points clear of Hamilton with five rounds remaining.

F1 heads to Mexico this weekend with Verstappen winning at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in 2017 and 2018, while he was fastest in qualifying a year later before picking up a penalty for failing to slow down for yellow flags.

Ricciardo was Verstappen’s teammate for just under three seasons and he thinks the Dutchman has shown qualities of a world champion over the last few seasons.

“He has shown it all year really but also the last few years,” he said.  There was that stage in Max's young career where he had the speed but there was still a few... I don't know, call it mistakes or over-anxiousness but you know, he quickly cleared that up.

“I think 2018 was really that year where he kind of learned from that and the second half of his season was really strong. You could kind of see that click in maturity on track and the last few seasons for him have been pretty immense.”

The McLaren driver doesn’t see Hamilton’s experience being a factor in deciding the destination of this year’s title.

“Although Lewis has the experience of winning world titles, I don't really see that as an advantage now,” he added. “They are both capable, Lewis has proven it, but Max is capable and he has a pretty stable head on his shoulders now.

“He has proven that with some of the drives he has done this year so I am kind of at the point where I am just looking at where it unfolds. Obviously, I am not part of that battle but from a fan point of view, you just want it to go to the end. They have been nip and tuck all year, it has been good to watch. I do think Max is capable of it. Time will tell.”