Daniel Ricciardo Primed To Win F1 Championship, as Lewis Hamilton Threatens To Quit Mercedes

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By Lou Imperial | August 26, 2014 3:43 PM EST

After a rough start in the season, Daniel Ricciardo is steadily gaining his ground in the Formula One drivers standings with back-to-back victories at the Hungarian and Belgian Grand Prix.

And with the civil war going on between the Mercedes drivers, the Aussie car racer could be on his way to snatch the top spot of the standings before the current season ends.

REUTERS/David W Cerny
Winner Red Bull Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia (C) celebrates with his team after the Hungarian F1 Grand Prix at the Hungaroring circuit, near Budapest July 27, 2014.

The 25-year old Ricciardo suddenly become the favourite to win the 2014 Formula One season title as the competition between current leaders and Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg continues to get out of hand.

After he was slapped with a disqualification at the Australian Grand Prix, the Red Bull driver kept his composure and managed to bag three victories in Canada, Hungary and Belgium. Now, Ricciardo found himself within striking distance, as he's now just 64 points behind leader Rosberg and 35 points behind Hamilton.

Formula One expert Daniel Johnson of the Telegraph compared Ricciardo's situation to the time when McLaren driver Alan Prost stole the victory from a warring teammates Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet of Williams Honda in the season's deciding race at the Australian Grand Prix in 1986.

Johnson admitted the gap between Ricciardo and the Mercedes drivers might be huge, but winning the championship at the season-ender in Abu Dhabi - where the points up for grabs are doubled - remains double as Lewis and Rosberg appear heading to the path of self-destruction for the remainder of the season.

"Imagine the scenario at the final race in Abu Dhabi, where double points are on offer. Ricciardo, 49 points behind, is driving his own race. Out front, Rosberg and Hamilton, the title still on the line, fight each other to the point of destruction. Ricciardo, the sole survivor, takes the victory and wins the championship by a point," Johnson claimed in his latest column.

Hamilton, who voiced out his frustration after Rosberg bumped his car in the second of the 44-lap race, is now threatening to leave McLaren after this season. Although he's being paid a whopping $30 million per year, the 2008 Formula One champion could bolt out after this season, as McLaren already locked in Rosberg for the next three seasons.

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(Photo: REUTERS/David W Cerny / )
Winner Red Bull Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia (C) celebrates with his team after the Hungarian F1 Grand Prix at the Hungaroring circuit, near Budapest July 27, 2014.
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