Cape Town - David Coulthard believes Daniel Ricciardo shares the same
"superstar" status as Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and his
soon-to-be former team-mate Max Verstappen.
The Aussie is preparing for his final race in Red Bull
colours before he heads to Renault ahead of the 2019 season and Coulthard
thinks Ricciardo could play his part in a four-way battle during next year's
"When you produce a film, a key to success is choosing
the right actor for the right role," Coulthard said via Formule1.nl.
"Here you have Lewis Hamilton as superstar, Max with
his offensive driving style and Sebastian Vettel with his German winning
"Ricciardo belongs in that list.
"The fact that someone like Fernando Alonso could not
play a leading role in a non-competitive car in recent years was bad for the
sport, but it will undoubtedly be better for Daniel at Renault."
Many are not mentioning Renault in the same breath as
Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull for 2019, but Coulthard is wary about writing
the Enstone team off completely.
"It is a real factory team and is investing
heavily," he added.
"That they have captured Daniel is proof of that. That
was not a bargain and a declaration of intent of what Renault wants.
"What the millions for Ricciardo and the team for
Renault will yield will become clear in 2019, a year with new changes to the
"People dismiss them as small but something can really
Ricciardo has said he is hoping for a "fitting
farewell" at Red Bull in Abu Dhabi, which hopefully means not adding to
the eight DNFs suffered so far this season.