Max Verstappen will have no qualms if he wins just 10 grands prix in 2024 providing he is in the thick of another F1 title fight.
Verstappen utterly dominated the past campaign, setting numerous records that may never be beaten en route to winning a third successive championship.
Notably, Verstappen set a new mark with the number of races won in a season (19); wins to races percentage (86.36%), beating Alberto Ascari's 71-year mark; consecutive number of wins (10), and most laps led (1003).
“Realistically, it can't be much better than what we have achieved,” said Verstappen, reflecting on a remarkable season at the FIA's prize-giving gala in Baku.
“It's not always about trying to win 20 races, it's also about trying to find improvements within yourself, within the car.
“If that means next year we have improved the car, and we can fight for the championship again, but if you only win 10 races, that's also fine.
“The competition around us (this year) was quite up and down – one weekend this team, then another week it was another team.
“I expect next year people will have learned a lot with these new regulations, and that, naturally, it will be quite a bit closer.”
With the RB19 likely to go down as the most successful car in F1 history, winning 21 of the 22 races, it remains to be seen where Red Bull can improve with the RB20.
There is hope, more than expectation from Red Bull's rivals, that the team will flatline in development, although that was stymied last year by punishment for exceeding the 2021 budget cap, leading to a restriction in wind tunnel and aerodynamic testing time.
As to whether Red Bull can make another step next season, Verstappen said: “You can talk about percentages or whatever, but there are always things we can do better. We know that.
“Of course, the car has been very, very dominant, but we've also seen a few, let's say, weaknesses in the car, so I think we can do better, and that's what we are working on for next year.”
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is fully expecting his rivals to find the consistency in 2024 that was achieved by his team and Verstappen this past year.
As noted by Horner, various teams were strong at various stages only to lack the almost metronomic level of performance achieved by Red Bull.
“The thing that surprised us was that we were able to remain pretty consistent,” said Horner.
“At different stages of the year, there were different cars, different teams that were emerging. Aston Martin started the season very strongly, McLaren finished the season very strongly, Ferrari was there at certain races, and Mercedes likewise.
“So it was moving around quite a lot behind us, but the one thing we were able to control was our own performance and the consistency that we achieved.
“Of course, you're always learning in this business. I think with stable regulations, we know the field will converge. We saw that at different points during the past year.
“For us, we have to improve, we have to keep evolving, and I think all aspects of our RB19 are being looked at to evolve into RB20.
“Hopefully, it will make it even stronger, because I'm sure that's what our competitors will be looking to do.”