Red Bull fear Max Verstappen's F1 career could be "limited" if the blazing intensity of last season's title fight with Lewis Hamilton continues over the next few years.
Verstappen was involved in arguably one of the tensest championship battles in F1's history across a record-equalling campaign of 22 races spread over nine months and with the threat of the pandemic lurking in the background.
It was a scrap that was not settled until the last lap of a controversial final race in Abu Dhabi, with Verstappen ultimately prevailing to clinch his maiden crown.
Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has claimed the year "was massively exhausting" for the whole team, in particular, taking a toll on Verstappen.
Marko is now concerned that additional years like last season, and with the number of races each year continuing to increase, could have an impact on Verstappen.
"We were all at the limit," remarked Marko in an interview with Autorevue. "And you are also much more susceptible to the flu.
"Thank God some people only got the coronavirus after Abu Dhabi [team principal Christian Horner amongst them]. That was good timing.
"And Max also said that he couldn't stand such an intensity anymore. He still wants to drive for a while, but if that's the case every year, then it [his career] is limited."