Verstappen beat Hamilton in a dramatic season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December to secure his first world title, denying the Mercedes driver a record-setting eighth Drivers’ Championship.
A thrilling world title race was decided under controversial circumstances, with Hamilton reportedly undecided about whether to return to the Formula 1 grid for the 2022 season as he awaits the results of an FIA investigation into events in the United Arab Emirates.
The 37-year-old is tied with Michael Schumacher on seven world titles, and holds F1 records for wins (103), pole positions (103) and podium finishes (182).
Having achieved his first goal of becoming world champion, Red Bull’s Verstappen is eyeing similar sustained success - though admits that much will have to fall his way if he is to match Hamilton’s considerable achievements.
“Everything that comes now is just a bonus and I am just going to enjoy it,” Verstappen told CarNext about building on his maiden Drivers’ Championship.
“You need a bit of luck to fight for seven or eight [titles]. You need a very dominant team as well to do that so you don’t always have that luck or you are not in that era.
“Sometimes it doesn’t happen. For me, I always wanted to win one and you will see where you go from there.
“Everything that comes now is a bonus but that doesn’t mean that if I lose a race... I will still be upset, but maybe a few minutes after I will say ‘it’s ok’.”
The 2022 season begins in Bahrain in March, with Hamilton yet to comment publicly on his future.
The British driver has not posted on social media since before race day in Abu Dhabi.
Should Hamilton take up his seat, he will have a new partner at Mercedes in compatriot George Russell, who has arrived from Williams.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies