Max Verstappen has long sewn up the current season's title and, with this weekend's Las Vegas Grand Prix the penultimate race of the year, attention is already turning to the next battle.
Speaking ahead of the British launch on Wednesday of the four-part series 'Brawn: The Impossible Formula 1 Story' on Disney+, the 68-year-old former F1 managing director and ex-Ferrari technical director saw McLaren as a team to watch.
"They've clearly got a much stronger organisation now," he said.
"Hats off to [team principal] Andrea Stella. He was one of my engineers at Ferrari. And I guess you don't see these little tiger cubs growing up to be big tigers.
"I'm really pleased how well he's doing and he seems to have galvanised the organisation. So, I think with that improvement going into next season they can be a real threat.
"They've got fantastic drivers as well, pushing each other very hard."
Lando Norris is hoping to continue his run of podiums in Vegas, with five in his last six races, while Verstappen is on a five-race win streak.
The season's final weeks will no doubt intensify the debate over Red Bull's dominance of F1 and Brawn stated that he too has been put off by Verstappen's hefty advantage.
"It's been a bit frustrating," he added. "I think sometimes when you get a team dominating you'd hope that both drivers would be fighting each other and that hasn't happened with Red Bull, which is a shame."
Additional reporting by Reuters.