Daniel Ricciardo has established himself as one of the best drivers in Formula One following his impressive start at Red Bull, according to team boss Christian Horner.

The Australian spent one year at HRT followed by two years at Toro Rosso before joining Red Bull as the replacement for compatriot Mark Webber who retired at the end of last year.

"He has been brilliant", said Horner. "From first practice in Australia he has been right there, driving extremely well, enjoying it, and he's always got a smile on his face, whether things are good or bad.

"And his racing, if anybody had any question marks over his ability to move forward through the field, he has demonstrated he is right up there with the best."

Ricciardo best finish prior to joining Red Bull was seventh.

"It [his ability] demonstrates how difficult it is sometimes to judge drivers in inferior equipment because he has grabbed his opportunity and he is really making the most of it."

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies