Verstappen only interested in winning, urges Honda to keep pushing

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Max Verstappen has sent a battle cry to Red Bull and Honda as he eyes a Formula 1 championship bid in 2020.

The Dutchman has emerged as the biggest threat to Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes, thanks to the progress made by his team and their engine supplier in recent months.

In fact, from the Austrian Grand Prix, Verstappen is actually the highest points scorer and that has put him within just seven points of Valtteri Bottas in second in the Drivers' standings.

"For me, it's all about the first place," he told Holland's De Telegraaf on the prospect of beating the Finn. "When I think back to my career in 20 years, I really will not be proud that I have become the vice-champion.

"I just don't care. It is only about the top spot. Maybe other people think differently, but for me, only the win counts."

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The gap to championship leader Hamilton is 69 points with nine races still to go, but Max ruled out any thought of a comeback.

“That is almost impossible,” the 21-year-old stated. “That is only possible if Lewis is really unlucky."

While many have been full of praise for Red Bull and particularly Honda for their progress, Verstappen is doing all he can to ensure their push doesn't weaken.

"I won twice, that is better than we had expected at some point in the season. We are still making good strides, but it needs to be just that little bit better," he declared.

"It definitely looks positive towards next year, but the others are not sitting still either, are they?

"We really have to work hard to close the gap. So far I am satisfied with the progress we have made.

"Also with Honda, I think there is still a lot to be gained. Certainly, if you look now at the mutual relationship in the first year.

"Once you are well aligned, there is clear potential in it. The most important thing now is that we constantly perform and connect."