Daniel Ricciardo has paid tribute to F1 champion Oscar Piastri in a 'dominant' style that 'no one expected'.
Piastri joined George Russell and Charles Leclerc in winning the F3 - formerly GP3 - and F2 titles in consecutive years but unlike the pair, missed out on an immediate promotion to F1.
The Australian Alpine Academy driver had been linked with a move to Alfa Romeo but when that drive went to Guanyu Zhou, the driver that finished third and 69.5 points off Piastri's 252.5 total, his chance had gone.
Instead, Piastri will serve as Alpine's reserve driver for 2022.
After winning the title in dominant fashion, his six wins and further five podiums setting him above the rest, McLaren driver Ricciardo hailed the efforts of his countryman.
“[It was] wild," enthused Ricciardo. "He didn’t just win, he dominated.
"I don’t think anyone really expected him to…fighting for a title is one thing, but winning comfortably was huge.
“I think people knew, obviously, he was talented. I knew he was talented but I don’t think anyone expected him to dominate the championship like he did."
Only 17 drivers from Australia have ever competed in F1 with Mark Webber and Ricciardo the only representatives since the turn of the millennium.
Looking at the up and coming talent, however, Ricciardo appeared confident this number could be set to rise, with Jack Doohan, the son of five-time motorcycle world champion Mick, joining Piastri on the front-row in his rookie F2 appearance in Abu Dhabi.
“There was an Aussie front-row lockout with him and Jack so it’s looking good for young up and coming Aussie’s, I’m very happy to see that," Ricciardo added.