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Verstappen 'absolutely' ready as Red Bull target 2019 title with Honda

Written by  Nov 01, 2018

Max Verstappen is "absolutely" ready to challenge for the Formula 1 title should Red Bull provide a competitive package.

The Dutchman dominated the Mexican Grand Prix for the second straight year on Sunday as the higher altitude at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez nullifies much of the deficit engine supplier Renault face at most other circuits.

With a move to Honda coming for 2019 and speculation their recent upgrades are bringing them within range of Mercedes and Ferrari in terms of performance, expectations are being raised.

“I think absolutely," said his team boss Christian Horner about Verstappen's title credentials.

“You’ve seen this weekend [in Mexico] if we’ve had an engine that is anywhere near the ballpark of our opponents, then we’ve got a strong enough team and strong enough driver package to take the fight to them.

“We’re obviously hopeful that the Honda, with the progress they’re making, will put us into a situation where we’re more regularly able to compete," he added.

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At the same time, it appears the 21-year-old has also matured greatly this year, learning from mistakes at the start of the season and scoring eight podiums in the last 13 races.

“[Verstappen] went through a tough path at the beginning of the year but really, since Montreal, he’s been doing some incredible races and I think with experience that was really the only missing piece,' Horner continued.

“All drivers make mistakes, you see that up and down the paddock. It’s what you learn from them [that counts].

“He has an awful load of capacity in the car. I think he’s got a very good racing brain as well. So he’s wanting to understand what’s going on in the rest of the race to match his pace accordingly.”

Following on from all of this, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has set a big goal for both Verstappen and Honda to achieve.

"The aim is to have the youngest world champion. Two years we have, but we go for it next year," he told Motorsport.com

"We know the first year with a new engine manufacturer is not easy but the aim is, and the goal that I've told all the people is that we have to go for the championship, from the beginning. No excuses."

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