In 2019, it took the team and new engine provider Honda a little while to ease the transition from the Renault power units in place the previous season, with Red Bull’s first victory not coming until nine races in when Verstappen won in Austria.
While he is buoyed by what he reckons is the most successful campaign of his career, he still thinks Red Bull need to hit the ground running in 2020.
“For me, it had to be the best year [of my career], it’s just natural,” Verstappen said at the FIA Prize Giving Ceremony this week
“The package this year, at the beginning, it was a bit of a struggle, we couldn’t really fight for victories and real podiums were also quite hard. So it was all about trying to be as consistent as we could be. So we just hope that we can be more competitive next year.
“We know that we have to be competitive from the start to be able to fight for the title so we are of course putting all of our efforts into that.
“It’s not going to be easy, but we’ve got to go for it and we’re going to try everything we can.”
As for Honda, he remains fully confident in the ability of the Japanese manufacturer to deliver a package powerful enough to match or usurp Mercedes.
“They’ve shown in the past that they can do it, so it’s not something that is just wishful thinking,” the Dutchman added.
“It’s not easy. The competition is very strong but like I said before we’re going to try everything next year because it’s going to be an important year and then we’ll see what happens.”