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Verstappen boost: Red Bull say Ferrari, Mercedes will be caught in 2020

Verstappen boost: Red Bull say Ferrari, Mercedes will be caught in 2020

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Verstappen boost: Red Bull say Ferrari, Mercedes will be caught in 2020

Verstappen boost: Red Bull say Ferrari, Mercedes will be caught in 2020

Dr Helmut Marko is confident Red Bull will not be Formula 1's third-best team behind Ferrari and Mercedes in 2020 as the relationship with Honda continues to flourish.

Outside of a burst of race-winning form between Austria and Hungary, Verstappen has struggled to keep pace with the Scuderia and Silver Arrows, but has managed to pick up podiums through smart strategy and racing.

Upcoming races in Japan and Mexico could well offer Verstappen chances to secure another win in 2019, but Marko says Red Bull will not have to pick and choose in 2020.

"Regarding the chassis, I think we will be much better prepared next year than this year," Marko told Motorsport.com.

"And based on the progress that Honda is making, we believe that we can consistently be at the same level in terms of power as our rivals Mercedes and Ferrari next year.

"We have generally had no problems with the reliability of the engine. Sometimes we have some problems with the mapping, but on the whole everything has gone well so far.

"It was planned that we would need extra engines this season. The progress made with the power justifies taking a new engine and the grid penalty that it generates.

"I think they do a fantastic job. We know that they had major reliability issues in the past and this was something they were worried about, but so far we have had no trouble with the engine this season. I think they work on the right things and do a good job. We are convinced that we will not be the third team next year.

"We have done a lot of work internally and the data we have about next year makes us positive."

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