F1 title the 'only goal' for Verstappen & Red Bull in 2020

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Max Verstappen says a first Formula 1 title for himself and Red Bull's fifth is the "only goal" in 2020.

This season, a duel between the Dutchman and reigning champion Lewis Hamilton appeared on the cards as the Milton Keynes-based outfit and Mercedes were closely matched on testing.

Of course, the coronavirus has since delayed the action, with an opening triple-header of two races in Austria and the Hungarian Grand Prix now set to take place next month.

Max Verstappen - Red Bull Racing F1

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And having won at the Red Bull Ring in each of his past two visits, Verstappen is desperate to see how the RB16 shapes up.

“As a team, our expectations are to win. We want to go for the championship, that’s our only goal,” he told David Coulthard in an interview for Carnext.com.

“Everybody is very motivated, so I’m looking forward to get started and see where we are.

“I’m feeling good and I’m feeling ready,” he added. “You would hope so after such a long break, but it’s really exciting to get started again.”

As for the opposition, Mercedes may well be thankful for the delayed start after struggling with engine issues in testing thought to be related to the oil system.

But now, with every race critical in what is hoped to be a reduced schedule of between 15-18 Grands Prix, team boss Toto Wolff knows there can be no room for problems.

"First of all this new calendar and the coronavirus throws some new challenges at us," he said via Crash.net.

"I think reliability is going to be a fundamental part of the opening races.

"The cars have come out of the container straight from Australia. There is not a lot of time for them on the dynos. We will be using every session to learn.

"The reduced race calendar is a challenge for everybody and again, I think that the team that has the quickest car and the most reliable package will win the championship."