Austrian talent spotter and Red Bull F1 team advisor Helmut Marko says Lewis Hamilton's performances this season have been "optimal" with the reigning world champion winning three out of the opening four races.
After a strong pre-season test that saw Red Bull thrive, many expected the Austrian team and their lead driver Max Verstappen to finally end the seven-year dominance of Mercedes. Unfortunately, things went pear-shaped for the Milton Keynes based outfit with the German squad and Hamilton winning three out of the first four races in turn giving the seven-time world champion his best-ever start to an F1 season.
"I also have to say that we are surprised at how (Lewis) Hamilton is doing it," Marko told Motorsport-Magazin.
"Also in psychological terms and how he was able to close the six-second gap (to Verstappen in the Spanish Grand Prix), he drives optimal races, from the point of view of tire treatment Hamilton might even be the best there. We also get that and know how much speed there is in the Mercedes."
The Red Bull advisor was also full of praise for his team's star driver Verstappen, stating the Dutchman has matured significantly from when he first joined the team.
"Max is more relaxed than it has been for a long time," Marko stated.
"He just wasn't relaxed in qualifying (in Portimao) because he took pole and they took that away from him. This is the most mature Max we've ever had. In Imola he had the problem with the drive shaft (on Friday). He would have scolded like a pipe sparrow earlier. So he has become significantly more mature."
With both Hamilton and Verstappen pushing each other to the limit we could be in for a very exciting season. All four races have proved to be a game of cat and mouse between the pair and despite Hamilton's early season form the championship battle will be reignited if Red Bull and Verstappen deliver on their potential in Monaco.