Max Verstappen has admitted that he was surprised that Red Bull started the season so strongly compared to some of its rivals.
At the start of the campaign, it was quickly clear that Red Bull was the fastest team in the field.
At the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Verstappen finished almost 40 seconds in front of the next non-Red Bull car.
The Milton Keynes-based squad's fine form continued throughout the following months and in the 16 races that have been held so far, Red Bull has emerged victorious in all but one.
Verstappen has enjoyed a large part of the success, winning 13 races as he stands on the verge of a third World Championship - a feat he can secure at the Qatar Grand Prix next week.
Red Bull's form followed another dominant campaign last season, with Verstappen revealing that he thought rival teams would close up over the winter break.
“I was more surprised at the start [of the season],” Verstappen told media including RacingNews365.com.
“We all at the team expected it to be very close. And it wasn't in the beginning.
“So then, of course throughout the year, I think it's quite a normal thing that you'll start looking around developing on ideas and start to get closer.
“For me, it was more surprising at the start.”