Christian Horner was left impressed by Daniel Ricciardo's attitude in the face of the misfortune which befell him in the latter part of the season.
Labeled a year ago as Lewis Hamilton's most probable challenger for the 2017 title, Ricciardo was forced to rein in his prospects after Red Bull's botched start to its season following correlation issues with its RB13 chassis.
The Aussie nevertheless clinched a win in Azerbaijan and appeared to gain momentum once again, but reliability woes thereafter left him stranded more often than he cares to remember. The hardship however took nothing away from his performances reckons Horner.
"Daniel had a run of podiums in the summer, where he could do no wrong," the Red Bull boss told Motorsport.com.
"Unfortunately, he's had some misfortune in the latter races when he's been in great positions as well. Mexico he would have been in the podium, possibly even second. The same in Austin.
"That's been tough for him. He's that bit older, he's been through misfortune before and I think he's handled it incredibly well.
"He's driven a great season. Some of his overtaking moves this year have been phenomenal."
Horner noted however that Max Verstappen had the upper hand over the Aussie, both in terms of race wins and qualifying performance, as the young Dutchman's talent continues to blossom.
"Max has really upped his game, particularly on Saturday and Daniel has had to stick with it to go shoulder to shoulder with him," Horner says.
"The margins between the two are often very small, which is exactly what you want. They have both raced incredibly well.
"As a driver pairing, it's a great pairing to be working with. Fundamentally, there is a respect between the two of them. They get on, they respect each other.
"They are rivals on track, they race hard, but they still respect they drive for a team."