Max Verstappen is confident he can challenge reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton for the 2020 Formula 1 world title.

The Red Bull driver hopes to bring an end to Hamilton’s current supremacy, with the six-time world champion bidding to equal Michael Schumacher’s all-time F1 record of seven drivers’ title this year.

Despite Hamilton and Mercedes being very much the pairing to beat, Verstappen insists he is not deterred by the Silver Arrow’s dominance in recent years.

“It’s very car-dependent of course in Formula 1,” Verstappen is quoted as saying by Reuters during a Red Bull media event in London on Monday.

“Lewis is very good. He is definitely one of the best out there, but he’s not God. Maybe God is with him, but he is not God.”

Verstappen claimed three victories during Red Bull’s first season being powered by Honda engines and went on to finish third overall in the 2019 championship. The Dutchman believes the Red Bull-Honda collaboration can go on to mount a title challenge this time around.

“We really want to mount a challenge to especially Mercedes and I think we can do that,” he added.

“I’m very much looking forward to it, everybody’s fired up and everybody’s very motivated. Coming off last year, at the end, we were very competitive.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner echoed Verstappen’s comments and reckons Honda’s progress throughout 2019 has put his side on a near level-pegging with Mercedes in terms of engine performance.

“Honda did such a great job, each introduction of an engine last year brought more performance and more power and it feels we’re getting very, very close now to Mercedes,” Horner explained.

“That therefore puts the emphasis on the chassis side of the team - going into this year we feel better prepared, earlier, than we have certainly in the last five years.”

 

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