Max Verstappen has done enough to convince AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost that he's the driver to win this year's World Championship.
The Dutch driver may be trailing Lewis Hamilton by two points in the championship with seven races to go, but Tost believes that Verstappen has shown an ability to handle pressure that will put him in good stead as 2021 builds towards its climax.
Asked about how Verstappen can deal with the pressure of trying to beat the juggernaut that is the Mercedes/Lewis Hamilton combination, Tost said Verstappen's performance in the Netherlands showed he can do it.
"The answer was his home race at Zandvoort," Tost told F1-Insider.
"If you can dominate in front of the frenetic fans in your home country with all the pressure of expectation, you no longer have to fear anything. That impressed me very much.
"Max cannot be thrown off balance. He focuses from race to race. He wants to win every race. If a collision is to be avoided, then he will. If not, then not. And that's that!
"There will still be some exciting racing scenes in the future. And as for me: I would be happy if Max wins the title in the end."
As Verstappen closes in on a possible first World Championship title at the age of 24, Tost believes that he could follow in the footsteps of a Formula 1 legend. Asked to compare him to a previous champion, Tost picked out a mercurial Brazilian.
"It's always difficult," Tost admitted. "But I think that he is most likely to go in the direction of Ayrton Senna in terms of his willingness to take risks and the will to absolutely win."
Lewis Hamilton claimed his 100th Grand Prix win to move into the championship lead, but it's Red Bull and Max Verstappen who will be happiest after the Russian Grand Prix.