Hamilton is now 38 and time is running out for him to add an eighth title, which would be an all-time record.
“Max is technically extremely gifted,” said Red Bull chief engineer Paul Monaghan.
“He did a lot of work as a youngster, often guided by his father, and you can see the legacy of that. He knows what he’s talking about within the car, and he knows what he wants.
“With his engineers, they know how to deliver a car that he finds nicely-balanced, easy to drive. Well, not necessarily easy to drive, but driveable. It looks after its tyres well enough that he can manage a situation.”
“If you look at his record over the past seasons he’s been with us, it’s stunning. He wouldn’t achieve that if he wasn’t an exceptional driver.
“And can he improve? Yes, of course he can. He might not thank me for saying that.
“I think there are areas he can get a little bit better. He’ll dig into himself and think what could he do better for a season, and it’s up to us to give him a car to go and demonstrate those skills.”
Hamilton’s issues with Mercedes’ porpoising meant that he was never able to pick up his rivalry where it left off in the confusing scenes of Abu Dhabi at the end of 2021.
By the time that Mercedes were on top of their W13’s performance issues, Verstappen was charging towards the title.
Aged 25, he is now a two-time champion but has insisted that his career in F1 may not be as long as Hamilton’s.
The Brit has been punchy with his hopes for 2023 after a career-worst season in 2022, the first of his career without a single race win. He has vowed to return in a meaningful title fight with his old enemy Verstappen.