Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner believes Max Verstappen has an "inner confidence" that enables him to dominate in Formula 1.
Verstappen did not win the São Paulo Grand Prix by his usual win margin of over 10 seconds, owing to the high tyre degradation that affected his pace throughout the stint.
Throughout the season the Dutchman has managed to stretch the gap over his rivals, often utilising the last of his tyres in the closing stages of a race.
When asked if Verstappen holds back pace in races, Horner told media, including RacingNews365: "Everybody manages their pace differently in a race.
"Max has become so good at reading a race that he doesn't panic if he sees them taking time out of him in the middle sector or whatever.
"He's looking at the long game and I think he's just got that inner confidence that he knows he knows where he is."
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Horner: Max stepped up in 2019
Horner believes there was a specific period when Verstappen managed to finesse his race management skills, and manage the high degradation tyres and still utilise extra performance when needed.
"In 2019 it was during that period he really, really stepped it up - 2019/20 to a degree," said Horner.
"Mercedes had a rocket ship in 2020 and we were still able to win some races that year. Then obviously 2021 was massive."