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Max Verstappen ready to challenge F1's top two, say Red Bull

Sky Sports | Updated: 2018-11-08 18:00:55

Max Verstappen is ready to challenge Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel on a regular basis if the imminent Red Bull-Honda marriage proves successful, says Christian Horner.

Verstappen is ending this season as one of F1's most in-form drivers, with his emphatic victory at the last race in Mexico the 21-year-old's second of the season and fifth podium in the last seven races.

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The strength of Red Bull's challenge to Mercedes and Ferrari over recent years has largely been track dependent, but the team are hopeful their switch to Honda engines in 2019 will be the first step towards fighting for world titles again.

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Asked if Verstappen was ready to take on Hamilton and Vettel head-to-head if the Red Bull-Honda package delivered over the next few years, team boss Horner replied: "Absolutely.

"You've seen [in Mexico] that if we have an engine that is anywhere near the ballpark of our opponents then I think we've got a strong enough team and a strong enough driver package to take the fight to them.

"We're obviously hopeful that the Honda, with the progress that they're making, will put us in a situation that we're more regularly able to compete like we are here with the optimum downforce on the car and the optimum setting on the car."

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