Ricciardo pleased by new wave of Australian drivers, led by F3 champion Piastri

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Daniel Ricciardo has spoken glowingly of newly-crowned Formula 3 champion Oscar Piastri as he leads the next generation of Australian racing drivers.

The Prema racer showed great consistency to clinch the title in a three-way season finale last weekend at Mugello, beating Theo Pourcahire and Logan Sargeant by three and four points respectively.

Piastri's success comes after the 19-year-old joined the Renault Sport Academy back in January, putting him in the same team as Ricciardo.

“It's really, really cool to see,” said the seven-time Grand Prix winner.

“I only met Oscar in the off-season. We were both at Enstone together, so I got to meet him. As a person, he seems like a good kid, head screwed on, pretty low maintenance. I'd say pretty chilled.

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“On the track, I was certainly impressed with his race craft this year. In Monza, he made some well-timed moves and didn't seem to get too flustered. I think even after qualifying this weekend, which was a disaster for his standards, he kept cool in the race and didn't let it get away.

“So I think he dealt with the pressure relatively well, and he's still young, so also don't expect him to be perfect yet but I'm really, really happy for him."

Historically, Australian racing drivers are a pretty rare breed in the major single-seater categories simply due to the demands of having to relocate to Europe.

But with more companies like Red Bull and Renault supporting talent from these countries, it has led to what is arguably a wave of drivers from Down Under.

“It's cool to see some Aussies back in there. There was a chunk in F3 this year, I think four of them. So awesome that one could win," Ricciardo, who is only the fourth Australian to have won a Grand Prix, continued.

“I know Mark [Webber] has been looking after him a little bit, and I'm sure giving him some guidance. So you can see it's paid off. So I’m very happy for Oscar.”