Red Bull driver Max Verstappen doesn't lack confidence.
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen doesn't lack confidence.

Verstappen warning Hamilton: I'm out to take your F1 crown

MAX Verstappen is warning Lewis Hamilton: I'm out to take your F1 crown.

Hamilton waltzed to a sixth title this month - but Red Bull ace Verstappen is ready to rattle him next year.

The Dutchman, 22, is third in the standings despite having a slower car than Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc.

He had brilliant wins in Austria, Germany and last time out in Brazil.

Going into this weekend's season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Verstappen said: "I'm not afraid of Lewis at all. Otherwise, it would be better to stay at home.

"If I was not here to win then it makes no sense being here, because then your whole attitude is wrong.

"It is good to have drivers like Lewis around you. He is a six-time world champion and won a lot of races - but I want to be in his position.

"I want for people to think it boring that I am winning every weekend.

"I don't think I need to focus on his weaknesses, I just need to focus on being better at what he is good at - and that is consistency and speed.

"It is not about changing too much from what I am doing now. This year has been pretty good.

"I should not be ahead of Ferrari with the pace they have in their car. It shows we are doing great in getting the most out of the race.

"We just need to make sure that, as a team, we have a dominant car to take it to Mercedes next season."

Verstappen will prepare his campaign to beat Hamilton over the winter, spending most days in his simulator in his Monaco apartment, racing online against other racers.

He chooses to compete under his own name and recently spent two days playing and never even left his home.

He added: "I will spend the winter sim racing. I will race in some championships next year online but I have to qualify for them first.

"I want to race in these on merit, not just because I am an F1 driver and I get an automatic ticket to race.

"It is a good preparation for the new season. One of the things is keeping the hard skin on my hands, which I'd lose over winter."