Max Verstappen says he doesn’t care who he fights for the Formula 1 world title, just as long as he and Red Bull are capable of challenging for the championship in 2020.

After an encouraging first year of Red Bull’s Honda power unit partnership, with Verstappen taking three wins and two pole positions on his way to third place in the drivers’ standings, the Dutch driver is optimistic of a sustained title attack in 2020 against his Mercedes and Ferrari rivals.

Verstappen hasn’t given any thought to who he could be battling to take his maiden F1 world title and wants to get himself in a fighting position before thinking too far ahead.

“For me it doesn’t matter who I am fighting as long as we are fighting for first,” Verstappen said. “That, for me, is the most important.

“If it is a pink car or grey or red, fighting against me it doesn’t matter. Nor if it is a six-time world champion or a rookie in the car.

“For me, it is all the same I just want to win as that is what we are here for. Same for the team. Hopefully from the start now we can be really competitive and start fighting for those positions.

“At the end of the day when you look over the last 10 years and you see the results you are not going to think about if you were fighting a world champion so for me I just want to win.”

Verstappen has committed his long-term future to Red Bull after signing a new F1 deal keeping him at the Milton Keynes team until at least the end of 2023.

While the Dutch driver doesn’t believe he’s ‘locked away’ from options outside of Red Bull, he is confident the team can deliver him a car capable of battling for F1 world titles.

“When it feels good you don’t need to change. Everyone in the team is all heading to the same direction and all want to win,” he explained.

“Everybody is very motivated and I really do believe we can get back to those winning ways which Red Bull has had before, so for me there was no reason to change. I feel really good in the team.”

Verstappen secured his first podium at the Australian Grand Prix 12 months ago on the debut of the Red Bull Honda partnership, but didn’t return to the rostrum until the fifth round at Spanish Grand Prix.

While Verstappen is F1’s youngest-ever Grand Prix winner, he must secure the 2020 world title to become the sport’s youngest world championship - a record currently held by Sebastian Vettel when he sealed his first F1 crown aged 23 years and 134 days back in 2010.

 

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