Max Verstappen hopes Red Bull has produced a 2020 Formula 1 car with which he can take the fight to Mercedes, insisting Lewis Hamilton is 'good but not God'.
Verstappen finished third in the drivers' standings in 2019 in Red Bull's first year with Honda engines, netting three wins, and Red Bull has set its sights on challenging for more this year.
Though Hamilton was in brilliant form last year as he grabbed his sixth F1 title, Verstappen said he thinks things will be very different if Red Bull can start putting pressure on the Mercedes driver.
"It's very car dependent, of course in F1," said Verstappen during a Red Bull media event in London.
"At least when you can put the pressure on them, of course, it's a lot harder for the guy.
"If you never really have pressure, then you can always drive it with 97/98% and you never make mistakes, or just have one [bad] weekend out of 21 or 22.
"So even if we start within two tenths, you can really mount the pressure.
"And of course, I would like to start straight away there because then it's really on."
While Hamilton's sixth title success means he is one short of Michael Schumacher's all-time record, Verstappen said he does not believe Hamilton is untouchable.
"Lewis is very good, he is definitely one of the best, but he is not God," said the Dutchman.
"Maybe God is with him but he's not God."
Verstappen said Red Bull was in a positive mood about its efforts over the winter.
"I think last year already it was good, especially in a transition year like we had, it was very promising," he said.
"We really want to mount a challenge to especially Mercedes and I think we can do that.
"Of course we have to wait and see from testing, but I'm very much looking forward to it. Everybody's fired up. Everybody's very motivated, especially also coming off last year in the end. We were very competitive.
"We knew where we had to work on but you cannot solve that within two, three weekends, so because we tried a few things to learn and understand for this year, we are working in the right direction.
"But of course now it's also up to us to develop more than Mercedes and Ferrari during the winter.
"We have to start strong from the very first race, we have to be there."
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While he suggested Hamilton can be rattled by being put under more pressure, Verstappen thinks Red Bull operates best when stress levels are high.
"It's under pressure situations like in Brazil, for example, but also some other difficult races like in Germany, that you can see that the team is really excelling compared to the others," he said.
"So I'm also looking forward to when we get that fight and we are really close, and I'm pretty sure that we can do better."