Daniel Ricciardo one of the best on the grid says Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton says Daniel Ricciardo is one of the best drivers on the grid after a string of impressive showings in his debut year with Red Bull.

The Australian is the only non-Mercedes driver to have won a race in 2014, taking victory in Canada and Hungary.

The 25-year-old has also consistently outperformed his four-time world champion team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

Suzi Perry and Allan McNish's mid-season F1 review

"He's been driving fantastically well from the beginning of the year," said 2008 world champion Hamilton.

"He's shown his capability and is going from strength to strength. He's not only one of the nicest guys in the paddock, but also one of the best drivers here, for sure."

Double world champion Fernando Alonso agreed adding: "He's leading the champion team. That says it all."

Ricciardo is third in the drivers' standings, 71 points adrift of championship leader Nico Rosberg but 43 ahead of team-mate Vettel.

Daniel Ricciardo in 2014

Australia

Disqualified

Malaysia

Retired

Bahrain

Fourth

China

Fourth

Spain

Third

Monaco

Third

Canada

First

Austria

Eighth

Great Britain

Third

Germany

Sixth

Hungary

First

The Australian leads Vettel in the qualifying head-to-head 7-4 and has reached the chequered flag first in six of the seven races that they have both finished.

His maiden grand prix victory came in Canada, when he passed Rosberg inside the final three laps, while in Hungary he chased and passed Alonso with three laps to go to take his second win.