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Verstappen title hopes with Red Bull not ‘wishful thinking’

Max Verstappen is convinced Aston Martin Red Bull Racing can contend for the world title in 2020 but insist his team will require a strong start to its season to be in the mix.

Red Bull was once again a front-runner in F1 this year along with its Mercedes and Ferrari rivals. But Verstappen’s three wins weren’t enough to allow the Honda-powered Milton Keynes-based outfit to mount a championship challenge.

“The package this year, in the beginning, it was a bit of a struggle,” admitted the Dutchman, speaking at last Friday’s FIA prize-giving event in Paris.

“We could not really fight for victories. Podiums were also quite hard. So it was all about trying to be as consistent as we could be.

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“We just hope that we can be more competitive next year. We know that we have to be competitive from the start and want to be able to fight for the title.

“So we are putting all our efforts into that. It’s not going to be easy, but we’re going to go for it. We’re going to try everything we can.

“They have shown in the past they can do it, so it’s not just wishful thinking.”

Verstappen’s current contract with Red Bull runs out at the end of next season, but the 22-year-old will likely have clarity on his F1 future well before his deal expires.

However, Verstappen will be patient before weighing his options for 2021.

“To be honest, I don’t really think about it too much,” he said. “I know there are other possibilities of course after next year.

“I have one more year under contract. But I think what is more important is that we just see what happens in the beginning of the season. And then from there onward we’ll see what happens.”

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