Horner disagrees with Marko, eyes title for Red Bull

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Christian Horner offered an upbeat assessment of Red Bull Racing's title chances this year, contradicting the pessimistic view of Helmut Marko.

While positive on the team's chances of winning in 2018, the Red Bull motorsport boss believes the championship will likely be out of reach as Mercedes and Ferrari continue the battle for top honours.

Horner begged to differ however, insisting the Milton Keynes-based outfit has taken some valuable lessons from its previous campaign and is determined to carry the strong momentum it enjoyed at the end of last year into the new season.

"If we've learned the lessons of last year, and if reliability improves, then I see no reason why we shouldn't be on par," Horner said.

Pundits see perhaps a fourth team joining the fight at the front, with McLaren extracting itself from the doldrums thanks to its new partnership with Renault.

The Woking-based outfit will offer Red Bull another bench mark but Horner still believes his team will have the upper hand.

"McLaren is a great team and we look forward to racing against them," he said.

"But we made great progress especially in the second half of last season and we hope to take that momentum into 2018.

"The rules are more or less the same, so there are many lessons we can draw from 2017 with the development of our new car."

In addition to its engineering potential, Horner also underlined Red Bull's other main asset, it's very strong driver line-up, with a championship for Dutchman Max Verstappen "only a matter of time", according to the Briton.

"Sebastian Vettel won four titles for us before he was 30," he told Speed Week.

"Lewis did his four and is only 32. For me, Max is a champion. You can see which drivers are outstanding and Max is certainly one of them."

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