Red Bull's Verstappen plots title charge
Red Bull star Max Verstappen says he is ready to fight for the Drivers' Championship in 2019.
Verstappen is preparing for his fifth season in Formula 1 and his third full season with Red Bull, having joined from sister team Toro Rosso after four races in 2016.
The 21-year-old Dutchman is a five-time race winner but Red Bull have been unable to provide him with a car capable of challenging Mercedes' dominance during his time with the team so far.
It remains to be seen whether or not the Milton Keynes-based outfit and new engine supplier Honda will be able to take the fight to the Silver Arrows and Ferrari in 2019, but Verstappen feels if the Red Bull is competitive he will be ready to mount a serious title challenge.
"I think I can [fight for the title] because I’ve done four seasons now, and Lewis [Hamilton], for example, was fighting for a championship in his first season," Verstappen said to PlanetF1.
"Are you ready for it? You're not sure.
"Was he? Maybe yes, maybe not. But once you have that car underneath you, you are definitely going for it.
"I think it's never 100 percent clear if somebody's ready or not.
"As soon as you have that car you’ve just got to drive it as fast as you can and if it's the fastest car in the grid you are normally winning races or you are second."
Gareth Freeman is an experienced journalist who can offer in-depth knowledge on a host of sports, especially football, tennis, snooker and basketball.