Verstappen: Hamilton comparison will only come with title fight

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Max Verstappen claims a comparison between himself and Lewis Hamilton can't be made until they fight for the championship.

The Dutchman is seen by many as the air to the Briton's throne in terms of the next big superstar to emerge in Formula 1 but the disparity between Red Bull and Mercedes has meant on-track duels have been few and far between.

Last time out in Monaco did see the pair go head-to-head for victory, but the tight confines of Monte Carlo's streets meant there was never a genuine opportunity to go wheel-to-wheel.

"To be honest, I'm still waiting for the real battle against Lewis," Verstappen told F1 Racing.

"Of course, I've been driving with Lewis for a few years now. But I never really felt like the whole season I was fighting against him, so it's a bit difficult to judge that at the moment.

"He was in a championship fight and then we had [only] a few good races, so sometimes it's easier to overtake him because he has to think about the championship.

"Hopefully this year we will be more in that fight throughout the whole season, every weekend, then we can compare each other."

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Critical to Verstappen making any kind of championship bid will be Red Bull's engine supplier Honda closing the performance gap to Mercedes.

And after a solid start to their new partnership with reliability strong and more power coming, the 21-year-old remains upbeat.

"In general to have this new engine partner in the team just gave a bit of a fresh start," he said. "Everybody is just really looking forward to the challenge, I think.

"We just feel like there are more opportunities with Honda so at the moment there's a really good vibe in the team."