Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has warned that Max Verstappen has not yet reached his peak despite a dominant Formula 1 campaign this year.
The Dutchman scored 19 victories from 22 events and cruised to his third Drivers' Championship while Red Bull prevailed in the Constructors' standings.
On the occasions he did win this year, Verstappen was rarely challenged for the victory as he showcased strong race pace en route to the wins.
Verstappen now sits third all-time behind Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher for F1 Grand Prix wins.
When asked by Sky Sports Germany to describe where Verstappen has improved this year, Marko replied: "In all areas. It's in his absolute will to win.
“He can go to extremes in any situation. As soon as he learns that there might be a penalty for an incident, he increases his lead by 10 seconds.
“He simply instantly gains a second per lap. And he does that cleanly and with ease.
"He is decisive in terms of tyre management. Max can drive incredibly hard and at the limit without overloading the tyres. He almost reads the tyres.
“That was again the case during qualifying in Abu Dhabi - in which he again went a step further than everyone expected. That's why I think we haven't reached our peak yet."
Viewed by others:
Marko asserts there is still weakness
However, Marko highlighted that there is still a weakness to Verstappen's drive.
"When the car is not performing quite to his liking, he gets a little impatient here and there,” he said.
Marko added a word of appreciation for the Red Bull set-up as well as Honda, who constructed the team's current Power Unit.
"He [Verstappen] is very confident, but no longer fights when he doesn't need to and yet he does just keep getting faster, and handles the material well,” Marko stated.
“But all this I never thought possible and that is why I don't see any limits at the top at the moment."
"I thank our staff in England and at Honda. Honda made an incredibly competitive engine. In addition, the engine was stable, also in terms of fuel consumption.
“But such an achievement is only possible in a team where everyone works with full passion, dedication and enthusiasm.
“And I think that is characteristic of our team. We concentrate on ourselves and make sure that we win as many races as possible."