Max Verstappen refusing to rule out title challenge

Verstappen, Red Bull get it right to win in Austria (1:37)

Jonathan Legard reflects on another impressive Max Verstappen performance, as he creeps back into the title picture. (1:37)

Max Verstappen has his sights on challenging for the drivers' title after winning the Austrian Grand Prix.

After a torrid start to the season littered with errors and mistakes, Verstappen has enjoyed an upturn in form, finishing on the podium in four of the last five races. The Dutchman's first win of 2018 moves him up to fifth place in the drivers' championship, three points behind Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo and 53 points off leader Sebastian Vettel.

When asked if a challenge for the title is realistic, Verstappen told Sky Sports: "Well we never give up like I said. It's a good run we are having now but we still a bit more engine power and then we can definitely be in the mix.''

Red Bull's first win on home soil came as a surprise due to the nature of the circuit favouring cars with greater engine performance. Verstappen believes his next best chance of a win will come in Hungary, rather than at Silverstone next time out.

"Normally Silverstone is a bit tricky for us now because a few corners, they're flat out and it's basically a straight but here we won,'' Verstappen added. "I think after Silverstone then we can start to go to a few tracks, I think especially Hungary, that's a track where we should aim for.

After nine rounds in 2018, Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull have three wins apiece. Despite this fact, team boss Christian Horner believes his team is still outsiders and its form on Saturdays will dictate whether it can really challenge for the the title come the end of the season.

"I think we see ourselves very much as outsiders,'' Horner said. "We discussed it with Renault obviously, and there will be no nicer way of them to sign off this partnership than with an engine that hopefully produces some more wins and who knows what else.

"I think what's concerning for us, Mercedes and Ferrari recently look like they've made a good step as well. Of course nothing in Formula 1 stands still. Hopefully there'll be small incremental gains over coming races because if we can do a better job on Saturdays, we have the pace in the race on Sundays. I think we've got sharp strategies, we've got a great pit crew, and I think that if we can improve our Saturdays, as I said, we'll be racing more at the front.''