Max Verstappen may only be sixth in the Formula 1 drivers' standings having won two races this year, but big things are expected of him in 2018.
He's one of the youngest current drivers at 20-years-old and has shown in recent races in particular that he's a top talent.
Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel will both be looking over their shoulders when the 2018 season begins and Verstappen claims he is ready to fight for the title.
"[Hamilton] is a great driver and he really deserved it this year because he was the most consistent and fastest driver from the guys who were fighting for the championship," said the Belgian.
"But yeah, I would love to [fight with Hamilton]. Hopefully we can do that already next year.
"Of course [I'm confident I can compete], otherwise I wouldn't be driving in Formula 1. I would do something else if I thought I was not able to do it."
Verstappen has never been far from controversy in 2017, especially during the recent races in the United States and Mexico.
He was hit with a time penalty in Austin for overtaking Kimi Raikkonen off the track but escaped punishment in Mexico after impeding Valtteri Bottas in qualifying.
Both incidents caused a storm and now Verstappen has called for permanent stewards to be introduced in F1 next year, rather than temporary ones.
Asked if permanent stewards would improve F1, he said: "I think at the end of the day, yes, it would be better. At least then, [with] the stewards, you know who you're working with.
"They start to understand the driver a bit better because you share more times together, more races together. I honestly think we have to head into that direction."
Verstappen won't be alone in wanting permanent stewards introduced in F1, because every driver has suffered from a controversial decision at some stage this season.
Permanent stewards would improve consistency and, as Verstappen explains, they would have a greater understanding of each driver.
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