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Helmut Marko makes big claims for Max Verstappen and Red Bull ahead of 2020 campaign

Hamilton Max Verstappen Charles Leclerc
Lewis Hamilton (C), Max Verstappen (L) and Charles Leclerc celebrate (R) after a race (Getty)

Helmut Marko believed that Max Verstappen would challenge Lewis Hamilton for the world title

Red Bull advisor and head of their driver’s programme, Helmut Marko, has set some lofty goals for Max Verstappen and the new RB16.

Verstappen finished a career-best third in the driver’s championship last season and also picked up three race wins.

However, the 22-year-old was a distant third behind Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in the end. Red Bull were also far behind Mercedes in the constructor’s title, but Marko believes the fight will be closer.

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Lewis Hamilton (C) celebrates with Max Verstappen (L)

The outspoken former racer told Sky Sports Dutchland:

“The Hamilton-Verstappen duel is coming.

“I think our car is faster than the Ferrari, but you never know with them. They will undoubtedly be fast, but hopefully they stumble over internal problems. “

Ferrari finished second in the constructor’s title standings and it will be interesting to see if Marko’s words come true.

Verstappen is one of the best racers in the grid. However, the Dutch racer has often been held back due to the Red Bull’s lack of pace.

War of words between Hamilton and Verstappen

The pair have already had a verbal exchange in recent weeks with Verstappen claiming that Hamilton isn’t a ‘God’ and could be got at.

However, the six-time world champion claimed talking about rivals is a sign of weakness,

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Max Verstappen celebrates at the Austrian Grand Prix (Image credit: Getty)

This sets up a fascinating duel between the two with Verstappen looking to win Red Bull their first title in seven years.

However, the power of the Honda engines will decide that. The Japanese makers did well to improve their output in 2019 and have to do a lot more in 2020.

Hamilton is still the favourite to win a seventh world title, but it will be interesting to see how Red Bull do in Australia.

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