Max Verstappen is turning his attention toward race victories and a championship challenge next season now that 2017 has inflicted upon him insurmountable reliability problems.
Retiring from seven of the 14 Grand Prix events thus far, Verstappen has been on the receiving end of some pretty bad luck. With six races of the current season remaining, Verstappen is already looking ahead to 2018 and has set some lofty goals.
"I want to be able to fight for the championship," Verstappen said on the eve of his 20th birthday. "If you win one race and you win the championship, that’s wonderful.
"But it’s a bit difficult to say at the moment, when you’re not in that position. Hopefully we are next year, but it’s a bit too early to say so. We just have to wait and see till we go to Melbourne."
Prior to the contracts of both Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen being renewed at Ferrari, there was growing speculation that Verstappen was in the conversation to join the Italian marque.
"Yeah, I mean, to be honest I don’t want to look too much in the future," Verstappen said. "I just want to focus on the job I have now and try to finish it off in a good way this season and then for next season. I know where I am and, well, before we finish next season is still such a long time, so, just have to wait.
"I think for next year, the team and I, we want to win, so that’s our priority and we’ll see what happens afterwards."