Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes Max Verstappen is "driving better than ever" ahead of his first opportunity to secure a maiden F1 world title.
Verstappen may only hold a slender eight-point lead in the drivers' standings but, with only the Abu Dhabi season finale remaining after Saudi Arabia, the Jeddah race presents the Dutchman with a chance to claim championship success.
With concrete walls lining the Jeddah Street Circuit, danger lurks around every corner and with Hamilton and Verstappen finishing one-two at five of the last six races, a single error from the seven-time champion would have the potential to end the battle with a race to spare.
"Make no mistake, fighting for your first F1 title is an intense moment in your racing career, but the maturity Max has shown throughout the campaign has been extremely impressive," wrote Horner in his Red Bull column.
"He’s relaxed and dealing with the pressure incredibly well, I think he is driving better than ever."
In both Brazil and Qatar, Hamilton held a pace advantage over Verstappen with back to back victories shrinking the points gap from 21 to eight.
Reflecting further on Verstappen's ability to handle the pressure, Horner added: "A good example of this was during the race in Qatar, when he did not feel we could catch Lewis, but commented over the radio that he “wanted to have some fun”.
"Max is plain-speaking and he calls it how he sees it. He doesn't work with a sports psychologist; it is just how he copes with it."