Lewis Hamilton is prepared to put money on Max Verstappen extending his wins total for the season up to 19 races after he set a record in the Mexico City Grand Prix.
Victory at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez was Verstappen's 16th of the year, and broke his own record of 15 that he set in 2022.
It has been a campaign of unrivalled dominance for the triple World Champion, as he also set a new record of 10 consecutive wins between the Miami and Italian Grands Prix.
The Red Bull driver is also on the cusp of becoming the first driver to smash through the 500 point barrier in a season, currently sitting on 491 with 86 remaining across the final races.
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Hamilton in Verstappen challenge
"It definitely gives us a lot of confidence," Hamilton told media including RacingNews365 of Mercedes' pace in Mexico heading to Brazil for the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
"I mean, last year, at the same time, we were doing the same thing, but last year, I think we were three-tenths behind Max in qualifying or something like that and I came second, but he walked off with the win.
"So we're really just mirroring what we did last year, so we have to make some real big changes for next year.
"Obviously in Bahrain earlier this year, they were 1.5s a lap faster than us, at least, so the key is to make sure that is not the case in Bahrain [for the 2024 season opener].
"Hopefully, these next couple of races will be close, but I'd probably put money on it that [Max] will get to 18, 19 [wins] with that car."
Verstappen can achieve 19 wins in the season if he wins the Sao Paulo, Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix - which would take his season win percentage to over 86% - and break the current record of 75% held by Alberto Ascari for his six wins in eight races in 1952.