Motor racing-Verstappen says he and Red Bull can still do better

FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - November 26, 2023 Red Bull's Max Verstappen celebrates with the trophy on the podium after winning the race REUTERS/Rula Rouhana

(Reuters) - Max Verstappen and Red Bull have just finished Formula One's most dominant season but the triple world champion said on Friday they could still improve.

Runaway champions Red Bull won 21 of 22 races in 2023 while their Dutch 26-year-old took a record 19 victories -- including an unprecedented 10 in a row -- and set a string of other firsts.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the FIA prizegiving gala in Baku, Verstappen said it had been a really enjoyable season and looked forward to keeping the momentum going in 2024 and reaching new milestones.

"Realistically of course it can't be much better than what we have achieved but I think it's not always about trying to win 20 (races)," he added.

"It's also about just trying to find improvements within yourself, within the car, and if that means we have improved the car and can fight for the championship again but only win 10 races, that's also fine.

"There are always things that we can do better, we know that," he added.

"Of course the car has been very, very dominant but we've also seen a few things that we can do better and that's what we are of course working on for next year."

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said the team were always in pursuit of perfection but expected rivals to be closer next season.

"I doubt we will be able to achieve again, statistically, what we’ve done this year," said the Briton, who hailed Verstappen's consistency in an astonishing year.

"You're always learning in this business." said Horner. "We know the field will converge, we've seen that at different points during the course of the past year.

"We have to improve, we have to keep evolving."

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Toby Davis)

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