Red Bull's Max Verstappen believes Lewis Hamilton is "definitely one of the best out there", but insists the Brit is not unbeatable.
Although Verstappen took the fight to Hamilton a few times last season, Red Bull had no answer at most races to Mercedes' pace.
While Hamilton romped to 11 grand prix wins and a sixth Formula 1 World title, Verstappen finished third in the standings with three race victories.
Verstappen told Reuters: "Lewis is very good. He is definitely one of the best out there, but he's not God. Maybe God is with him, but he is not God."
The Dutchman is hoping Red Bull can deliver a car that allows him to put pressure on Hamilton from the very first race of the season.
Then maybe he can also force errors out of the Brit and Mercedes.
Mounting the pressure
Verstappen told Racer: "It's very car-dependent of course in F1. When you can put the pressure on, then, of course, it's a lot harder for the guy in the lead. If you never have pressure then you can always drive at 97% or 98% and you never make mistakes, or maybe one weekend out of 21 or 22.
"So if we start within 0.2s then you can really mount the pressure."
"Of course I would like to start there, because then it's really on. I'm looking forward to it, because I know that when everything is good together, then as a team under pressure situations - like in Brazil for example, or other difficult races like Germany - you can see that the team is really excelling compared to the others.
"So I'm also looking forward to when we get that fight and we are really close, then I'm pretty sure that we can be the better [team]," he concludes.