Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes Sergio Perez delivered his "best year" in F1.
The Mexican narrowly missed out on second in the drivers' championship after he was unable to track down Charles Leclerc at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Perez made a second stop with Ferrari keeping Leclerc out on a one-stop and although the RB18 stalked right to the flag, there was no overcoming the deficit.
Both drivers came into the race level on points but with Leclerc ahead on the countback of wins after Max Verstappen's refusal to abide by team orders in Brazil, a decision that had cost Perez a point.
The only scenario that would mean the events from Interlagos would not impact the overall championship picture was if the Ferrari driver finished ahead of his rival in the top three at Yas Marina.
After avoiding that potential issue, Horner insisted: "You have got to look at the season on the whole.
"When you look at it, both Charles and Checo will be ruing opportunities missed, probably a lot more for Charles than there were for Checo.
"You have got to look at it as performance over a year, not over a race."
Hailing his driver's year after picking up two victories en route to his top-three finish, Horner added: "Checo has had the best year he has ever had in F1.
"He won the Monaco Grand Prix, and his drive in Singapore was outstanding, it was the best grand prix I have seen him drive.
"He will take a huge amount of positives. It is the first time he has finished top three in the championship and again, I think he will take many lessons out of this year."