Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner was surprised at the level Max Verstappen managed to achieve, on his way to a dominant third Formula 1 championship.
The Dutchman won 19 out of the 22 races held in 2023, making him and the RB19 one of the most dominant car and driver combinations that has ever been seen in F1.
He will officially be presented with the World Championship trophy at the annual FIA Prize Giving Gala held in Baku, Azerbaijan.
When asked about his 2023 form, Horner believes Verstappen has exceeded all expectations and demonstrated his strengths as a driver.
"He just continues to hit new levels," Horner told media, including RacingNews365.
"The only damage that he did this year was driving out the garage at Silverstone and clipping the front wing.
"It's just phenomenal the heights that he's these hit, the consistency, some of the races, even with adversity coming from the back of the grid after issues in qualifying.
"There been some stunning performances this year and he just continues to raise the bar. It's just great to see how he works with the team, with his engineering team, and Max is leading that from the front."
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Horner: "We know the field will converge"
Red Bull managed to produce a car that was fastest out of the box at the beginning of the 2023 season, leaving other teams having to play catch up.
Horner expects more convergence in the next couple year, largely owing to the stability of the regulations.
"You're always learning in this business, with stable regulations we know that the field will converge, we've seen that at different points during the course of the past year," he explained.
"For us, we have to improve, we have to keep evolving and I think all aspects of our RB19 are being looked at to evolve into RB20 and hopefully make it even stronger. I'm sure that's what our competitors will be looking to do."