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Confident Verstappen targets Hungary podium

2016-07-21 18:17

RISING STAR: Max Verstappen is already his nation's most successful F1 driver of all time, having overhauled the achievements of his father Jos Verstappen. Image: AP / Darko Vojinovic

Budapest - Record-breaking teenager Max Verstappen is aiming for a podium finish at this weekend's Hungarian GP and third place in the Drivers' championship this year.

The 18-year-old is already his nation's most successful Formula 1 driver of all time, having overhauled the achievements of his father Jos Verstappen.

He believes he has the car, the talent and the form to outpace both Ferraris and his Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in Sunday's race at the Hungaroring and in the title chase.

He told reporters at a news conference on Thursday: "Last year (with Toro Rosso) was good here. 

"We had some luck to finish fourth with a drive-through. This year we are aiming for more than fourth so hopefully we can be on the podium."

Great season so far

Verstappen only joined Red Bull in May this year, having been promoted from Toro Rosso to replace luckless Daniil Kvyat, and he has already enjoyed three podium finishes, including a remarkable victory in his maiden outing at the Spanish Grand Prix.

He is currently 16 points behind third-placed Kimi Raikkonnen in the drivers championship.

 He said: "We are pretty close, so we will see where we end up at the end of the season. It will be between third or sixth - hopefully.

"You try to do the best possible race every race and we'll see after Abu Dhabi where we are."

He and Red Bull are expected to be highly competitive at the hot, dusty and twisting Hungaroring circuit with many observers tipping them to challenge Mercedes for a victory.

"The car can be very strong here, I think," said Verstappen.

"I am definitely looking forward to the weekend. We've been strong even on tracks where I didn't expect it so now it is about set-up and improving through the practice sessions."

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