'No doubt' Ricciardo could be F1 champion in a Mercedes - Brawn

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There is "no doubt" Daniel Ricciardo could be Formula 1 champion in a Mercedes, according to Ross Brawn.

Last weekend at Imola, the Australian scored his second podium in three races to consolidate his fourth place in the Drivers' Championship and continue a remarkable run of results that have seen him only finish outside the top six once since Spa.

For Ricciardo, finally getting to grips with his Renault has allowed him to show the kind of performances he became known for at Red Bull, and Brawn was full of praise for the 31-year-old.

“Daniel Ricciardo is a brilliant driver and one of the very best in Formula 1,” the F1 motorsport boss wrote in his Formula1.com column. “His drive to another podium was very impressive.

“If he had a Mercedes, there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind he would be taking race wins and pole positions and challenging for the World Championship.

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“He’s doing a fantastic job right now and Renault will be sad to lose him, even if Fernando Alonso is the man who will be stepping in.

“I hope McLaren can give Daniel a car he deserves next season. He’s a great member of the F1 fraternity.”

Indeed, as Brawn alluded to, the pace that Ricciardo and Renault have shown has led to questions as to whether he made the right decision to leave after 2020.  

“He’s been great – very relaxed, and he goes out there and delivers,” Paul di Resta told Sky Sports.

“I feel he’s in a strange place because when you’re in Parc Ferme and he’s got those podiums, it’s the start of something that I think was going to go quite far from a leadership point of view for Daniel.

“But of course he’s leaving there and going to McLaren because he thought that was the best chance before the season had started and now Renault are on the up.

“It was an ambitious ask to think they can finish third as a constructor this year, but they’re in a great place to try and achieve it.”

Renault now leads McLaren and Racing Point in third in the Teams' standings with just four races left to go.