Max Verstappen has been "flawless" so far in 2019, despite securing just one podium finish, according to Red Bull motorsport advisor Dr Helmut Marko, who believes no other driver on the grid has performed as impressively as the Dutchman this year.
Verstappen finished third in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix and has followed that up with a trio of fourth-place scores in Bahrain, China and Azerbaijan.
Red Bull have remained solid since switching Renault power units to Honda, although the team have cited an aerodynamic failing for their inability to take the fight to the leading cars so far – whether it has been a Ferrari or Mercedes.
Marko believes Verstappen has maximised his result in all four races so far this year – unlike his rivals, according to the Austrian.
"Hamilton, Bottas, Vettel and Leclerc have had ups and downs," Marko told Auto Bild.
"Only Max was flawless and always got the maximum out of the car – sometimes even more.
"He is absolutely ready for the title. In Barcelona, we now have to prove that we are too."
Verstappen will hope upgrades to Red Bull's aerodynamic parts can inspire success in this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, after Honda brought an upgrade to Baku last time out.
The Dutchman was third at the Circuit de Catalunya last year, and has fond memories of the circuit, having secured his maiden race win on his Red Bull debut there in 2016.
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.