MAX VERSTAPPEN is ready to lock horns again with Lewis Hamilton after Red Bull launched their new car for the upcoming F1 season.
The world champions have also announced an engine partnership with Ford, which will start in 2026.
Verstappen beat Hamilton to the title in 2021 in controversial circumstances before defending his crown last season, and says he has no hard feelings towards the Brit.
When quizzed if he was hopeful of another exciting F1 battle with Hamilton, he said: “In the interests of the sport, you always want the teams to be super close.
“I do think that it was already quite close last year but as a team we executed a lot of things better than the others. That’s why I guess the points gap was so big.
“I would still say we can do better, because in qualifying most of the time we were not even the quickest car.
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“But for the sport, you know the general interest of course, everyone wants to have a title battle with multiple teams involved.
“And I have no issue with anyone. I mean, all the drivers also had that dinner in Abu Dhabi. We had a laugh with everyone, we all had a good time, so that’s all okay.”
Ford’s return to F1 after more that 22 years is a big boost to Red Bull and will provide expertise and resource as the Milton Keynes team build their own engines from 2026.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner added: “We looked strategically at what would be the best partnership for 2026 onwards.
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“We’ve enjoyed an incredible relationship with Honda and that relationship runs for the next three years.
“But as we bought the power unit in house, producing and designing the power unit within Milton Keynes, it is important to align ourselves with an original equipment manufacturer that was going to support and complement that.
“It was a very swift discussion. Their objectives were very similar to ours.
“They’re obviously looking to come back into Formula One, investing massively in the electric vehicle side of the business, and so that gives us the ability to draw on their expertise.”
Source: Motorsport - thesun.co.uk