Verstappen is now the leading driver for Red Bull after Daniel Ricciardo’s departure to Renault.
The 21-year-old Dutchman is tipped by many as the next big star of Formula One, and his second-half performances last term earned him a fourth-placed finish in the standings.
But he wants to go one better this time around by challenging at the front of the grid more frequently.
And Verstappen thinks his best chance of that happening would be in a rival car to his two key opponents.
“When I think of my own career, it is not convenient to sit next to Hamilton or Vettel right now,” Verstappen said.
“Although I would absolutely do it if I had no other choice.
“I believe that with Red Bull I can also become champion, as long as we have the right package together.”
Verstappen has continuously jibed at Hamilton since the Brit won his fifth world title.
The youngster believes Mercedes’ superior car gifted Hamilton success over the last few years.
“I think Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Daniel Ricciardo and I could just as easily be champion with such a car,” Verstappen added.
“When I see on-board images, I think Mercedes has not even gone full throttle in many races.”
Meanwhile, Red Bull chief Helmut Marko believes his team’s switch to Honda engines will give them a boost in the Championship race.
“The figures make us really optimistic, also with regard to the increase in performance,” Marko told Motorsport.com.
“For the first time we can also celebrate with a ‘party mode’!
“The Honda engine is already slightly above the Renault engine. If you combine our GPS data with the data provided by Honda, we’ll be in the Mercedes and Ferrari region.
“Of course they’re not sleeping either. But they are already at such a high level that they can no longer make such jumps.”
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