Verstappen dominated Sunday’s race at Suzuka to take his 13th victory from 16 races and help his Red Bull team clinch the constructors’ championship for a sixth time. 

The Dutchman, who can now claim his third consecutive drivers’ title at the next round in Qatar, finished 19.3 seconds clear of McLaren’s Lando Norris

Verstappen predicted his winning margin during a padel tennis game that Horner invited him to in the days after Singapore, where Red Bull had suffered a shock first defeat of the season. 

"We all left Singapore knowing that ultimately the winning run that we had would come to an end, but we were still a little frustrated,” Horner said after Sunday’s race. 

"I played padel tennis with Max on Wednesday and he was properly fired up and he said: 'I want to win the race by 20 seconds’. 

"And in fairness, he came within 0.7s of achieving that.

"You could tell from the very first lap in FP1 where on the hard tyre, he was 1.8 seconds quicker than the rest of the field on medium or soft tyres at that point, he was totally focused on this event. 

"It was an outstanding performance. His final lap in qualifying has got to be up there with one of the best laps of all time in qualifying.

"And then he converted that after not the best of getaways, but he was able to hang on to the lead and then thereafter build a very commanding lead and control the race.” 

After taking a commanding pole position on Saturday, Verstappen told his critics to “suck on an egg” if they believed Red Bull’s drop in performance at the Singapore Grand Prix was linked to a new FIA technical directive. 

Asked whether the theories had given Verstappen extra motivation, Horner said: “He's just a racer. He doesn't need a lot of motivation, but he certainly came here very keen to reestablish the season he's been having."