Max Verstappen is expecting tighter competition during the 2024 Formula 1 campaign, stating the field will “naturally” close up.
Verstappen dominated this year’s campaign en route to his third F1 title, winning 19 out of the 22 races staged.
The Dutchman ended the season with an 86 per cent win ratio, the highest achieved in F1 history.
Two victories for Sergio Perez meant that Red Bull was only defeated once during the campaign, with Ferrari prevailing at the Singapore Grand Prix.
But Verstappen has predicted that the Milton Keynes-based squad will be given more of a challenge next season.
“Realistically, it can’t be much better than what we have achieved,” Verstappen told media including RacingNews365.com.
“But I think it’s not always about trying to win 20 races, it’s also about just trying to find improvements within yourself and within the car.
“If that means actually we have improved the car and we can fight for the championship again but only win 10 races, that’s also fine.
“The competition around us has been quite up and down, one weekend it’s this team and the other week, it’s another team.
“So I expect next year, people are learning a lot with this new regulation as well, that naturally [the field] will be quite a bit closer.”
Verstappen added that he is making a point to enjoy his ongoing success as there are no guarantees that he will maintain front-running machinery.
“This season we won a lot as a team, but also it’s been really enjoyable to work with everyone inside the team,” he said.
“Of course, once you’re winning a few in a row, you want to keep that momentum going and the pressure is always on, you always want to do well.
“It was never about trying to break all these kind of records, [I was] just trying to do the best I could every single race weekend and enjoy it as well.
“You know these kind of great moments, they don’t come along that often as well. It was a very, very good year.”