Max Verstappen hopes his Red Bull team will be capable of delivering him the F1 world title this season - but has rejected any suggestions “time is ticking” for him to do so.
The Dutch driver, who’s still just 23, has finished third in the championship standings for the past two years.
With his team confident it has sorted out issues with its car, and a new Honda engine on board, Verstappen is confident about his chances this year.
“I’m still very young”, he told Motorsport.com.
“And of course, you know, people say time is ticking - but I’m very relaxed. It’s life. Sometimes you cannot force things, so I stay calm.
“Of course I would like to fight for the championship, but we’ll have to find out.”
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Meanwhile, Max’s dad Jos Verstappen, a former racer himself, has stoked the fire with world champion Sir Lewis Hamilton ahead of the new campaign, claiming his son is at least as good as the British Mercedes driver.
Speaking to Dutch magazine FORMULE E, Jos argued there would be little to separate the pair if they had the same car.
“Let me put it this way: I wouldn't mind if Max would ride next to Hamilton. Then it is clear, isn't it” he said.
“The best thing would be if they were driving the same car. Then you can really compare who is the best. I would only applaud it, I think it would be a very nice season then. I think the whole world is waiting for that. ”
On Hamilton, he said: “It's the same as what I say about Max: he's incredibly strong. Even if you look at how he fares against his team-mate. At Mercedes it really worked out for Hamilton, at McLaren he had a few years in which it didn't work.
“You don't become a world champion if you don't have a champion team and champion car. ”