Following a desperate start to the season for McLaren, the team has made sensational improvements to its car to propel to the front of the grid.
Piastri and Norris then gave Verstappen arguably his toughest race of the season at the Lusail International Circuit with the duo both finishing within six seconds of the newly-crowned three-time champion.
Assessing his rivals, Red Bull driver Verstappen said: “I do think that as a team they are probably the most consistent, compared to the others behind us.
“I do think they have the best driver line-up out of all of them, they are operating really well.
“It's going to be interesting to the end of the year, but also I think the start of next year to see where everyone is at.”
Despite his crushing dominance this year, winning 14 of 17 grands prix, Verstappen senses the pack is closing, with McLaren at the forefront.
“I know that people around us are catching up maybe a little bit, so here and there it becomes quite tight,” said Verstappen.
“McLaren is making great steps forward, throughout the whole year, so from our side, we'll try to improve maybe a little bit this year, but of course mainly for next year.”
Despite three titles to his name, Verstappen maintains there will be no easing off in his bid for more victories and championships.
“Of course, for F1 you would like to see more competition,” said Verstappen.
“For me, I don't need any other team, or a team-mate, to get the best out of myself. I'm putting a lot of pressure on myself to always try and be the best I can, and try to prepare in the best possible way.
“That's what I enjoy and that's the only thing that I really look at.”