ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 27: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing waits for the drivers parade with Sergio Perez of Mexico and Force India and Felipe Massa of Brazil and Williams before the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 27, 2016 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Max Verstappen set the Formula One world on fire in the 2016 championship season from the moment he climbed behind the wheel of the Red Bull Racing contender in the Spanish Grand Prix.

Grabbing the Bull by the horns (figuratively speaking) Max set about to capitalize on the error made by the two Mercedes drivers after they crashed into each other to claim his maiden win in the series. From that moment on the young Dutchman did everything he could to get to the front of the pack and his driving style soon became the highlight of every race weekend.

Now, as he heads into his second season with the Renault powered outfit, Max is hoping that things will get even better…

“We are all very positive at the moment. We are getting close to Mercedes and hopefully with next year's cars we can make another step and hopefully we will be fighting for world championships,” he said on the team’s official website.

One of the things giving him extra hope is the new rules coming into play this year…

“Hopefully for us we'll move forward. We'll have to wait and see. Like I said, we're all very confident, so hopefully we'll have a great car.”

But what are Max’s personal goals for the coming year? Will he have to demand more of himself, especially physically with the new changes?

“It will definitely be more physical and that will be the most difficult part about it,” he explained. “To get used to the car will not be a big issue. You drive around it and you adapt to the situation as a racing driver, but definitely the fitness will be a lot harder. That's what I'll be working on during the winter time.”

Testing for the new season won’t start until next month with only one team confirming their launch date so far, Ferrari, for late February.