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Webber: Ricciardo faster than I ever was

14 Mar 2016

Mark Webber is convinced fellow Australian Daniel Ricciardo has the potential to be a future Formula One world champion, and tipped the Red Bull youngster to have the edge if they ever went head-to-head.

Speaking to CNN ahead of the Australian season-opener, Webber said Ricciardo - who won three races and eclipsed four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel in a breakthrough 2014 campaign - is now firmly established in the F1 elite.

"He's incredibly quick," Webber said of his compatriot. "He's got a lot of experience now - he's now one of the most experienced guys at the front, pushing for victories and championships.

"He definitely has championships in him in the future. With the right scenario on his doorstep he'll capture that, I'm sure.

"He is more than capable of it. He's quicker and faster than I ever was, so he's in good shape there.

"I think he has a good chance to do well, and to continue to fly the flag for Aussies."

Asked about the looming duel between Mercedes team mates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, Webber added: "I was impressed by how Rosberg pulled it back last year. I think Lewis definitely backed off a sniff once he got the championship. And Nico ramped it up, and you suddenly had this swing and Nico could do no wrong. 

"Lewis, if he turns up hungry and fired up, can be dangerous. That's up to him - he has got to deliver."

Melbourne hosts the first round of the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship this weekend on March 18-20.