Max Verstappen says Red Bull hope to target F1 titles in 2020
In-form Dutchman optimistic Red Bull and Honda can maintain their current momentum into next season
Last Updated: 28/11/19 7:15am
Max Verstappen believes it is 50/50 whether Red Bull and Honda will mount an assault on F1's world championships in 2020.
The Dutchman is the winner of eight grands prix and already established as one of the biggest names in F1 at the age of 22 but former champions Red Bull have produced the winners of races rather than title challengers since the dawn of the Mercedes-dominated hybrid era in 2014.
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But finishing their maiden season with Honda engines strongly, with Verstappen claiming his first F1 pole-victory double last time out in Brazil, has raised expectations about the threat Red Bull may carry next season.
And Verstappen is confident the team can take that momentum through the winter.
"We learned a lot throughout the whole season," Verstappen told Sky Sports News at a Red Bull camel polo event ahead of this weekend's season-closing Abu Dhabi GP. "What went well and what we did wrong or didn't do so well.
"We'll try to work over the winter of course to try and make everything better, the whole package. You can clearly see throughout the end of the year now [Red Bull have been strong], of course in general we have always been like that, but I really have a lot of confidence that it's not just now.
"I think we can really transform that into an early start next year. That's at least the target."
Asked if that will therefore mean a 2020 title challenge, Verstappen replied: "That's what we are going for.
"You never know, so it's 50-50. It's yes or no."
Verstappen's impressive victory at Interlagos a fortnight ago - which the Dutchman credited to a "very ballsy" strategy call from the pit wall and fast pit stops, one of which was the quickest-ever in F1 - represented his and the team's third of the season.
"Already throughout the last few races we were really improving, so of course very pleased," said Verstappen.
"Now one more race to go so we'll try to have a good weekend and try to finish it off with good feelings going into the winter break."
Verstappen is in line to secure his highest F1 championship finish of third in this Sunday's Abu Dhabi race. The Dutchman leads Ferrari's Charles Leclerc by 11 points.
The last race of the 2019 F1 season takes place in Abu Dhabi this weekend, and will be exclusively live on Sky Sports F1.