POTENTIAL CHAMP? Red Bull Formula 1 consultant Helmut Marko says Daniel Ricciardo is one of the top performers in the sport. Image: AP / Petr David Josek
Montreal - Daniel Ricciardo might be the best performing Formula 1 driver at the moment, according to Dr Helmut Marko.
The Australian driver was nothing short of livid after the Monaco Grand Prix, where a fouled-up pitstop by Red Bull cost him victory from pole position.
And just two weeks earlier at the Spanish GP, when his new team mate Max Verstappen won, Ricciardo claimed it would have been him at the top step of the podium if he had been put on the same winning strategy
Marko admitted to Auto Bild Motorsport: "We cost him victory in Monaco."
Marko said he understands Ricciardo's foul mood after Monaco, as the team had failed to deliver for him not only in the Principality but also in Barcelona.
Marko said: "He had the wrong strategy in Barcelona and in Monaco he deserved victory.
"Two times he had it torn from his hands. I have told him that at the moment he is driving at such a high level - maybe even the highest out of all the drivers - that victory for him is now only a matter of time."
Resurgence in form
It is an interesting time for both Red Bull and Ricciardo, with the team enjoying a resurgence in form and Ricciardo constantly linked with a move to Ferrari.
Marko said Renault's improving engine is helping Red Bull.
"We already have the best chassis," he said, "which is a big plus."
Championship leader and Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg said he is expecting Red Bull to have another strong weekend in Canada, with the team having apparently sped ahead of Ferrari in recent weeks.
Rosberg said: "It will be interesting to see where Red Bull is this time. We are hoping to get a little bit ahead of them again, so let's see."