Hamilton & Verstappen already thinking about 2020 F1 title fight

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Max Verstappen & Lewis Hamilton are already trading early jabs ahead of an anticipated 2020 Formula 1 title fight, Dutch pundit Tom Coronel claims.

In recent weeks, there has been a bit of back and forth between the two drivers, with Verstappen suggesting several drivers are on Lewis' level, while the world champion suggested he'd welcome the challenge of Max at Mercedes.

This comes as Red Bull make big gains in closing the gap to Mercedes in recent races creating the expectation that they can match them challenge them consistently next season.

"Max and Red Bull are in a good flow and Max will do everything he can to show that the title belongs to him in 2020," Coronel was quoted by GPFans.

"You already notice that Max is busy with that fight in the background and that also goes for Lewis. He also knows that Max is the only one who can handle him at the moment and he is only concerned with Max.

“If Verstappen can exploit that even more, then you put the pressure on at Mercedes and Hamilton for 2020."

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A key factor in whether a title challenge can happen will be the progress of Honda over the winter to make the power and reliability gains that allow them to challenge Mercedes on both fronts.

But as the gap between the four engine suppliers continues to reduce, team boss Toto Wolff acknowledges his team will also have to adapt.

“The Red Bull chassis was always among the best and it still is,” the Austrian noted via Crash.net.

“And then Honda has made a big step forward from last year to this year and all credit to them.

“I am happy to see that because a strong Honda is good for Formula 1 and good for the competition and in the end, if there is a fourth power unit supplier that has a competitive edge then there is generally positives for all of us.

“It also shows us that we have got to reinvent ourselves in a way and I see this as a really positive challenge.”