Max Verstappen has backed Lewis Hamilton's desire to remain in F1 into his 40s by predicting more "great battles" on the horizon.
Hamilton had previously long maintained he did not want to follow the example of Fernando Alonso and continue racing beyond his 40th birthday.
But ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix, the seven-time champion confirmed he is due to start talks with Mercedes over a new contract that will take him past 40.
After triumphing in a fierce battle for world championship glory with Hamilton in 2021, Verstappen was asked if he was excited to learn that his rival would be staying on the grid.
“He has to do what he feels is right and as long as he wants to race, he should do it," said Verstappen.
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"From our side, we have had already great battles. I’m sure that in the coming years, all of the teams will get a bit closer anyway so it will be interesting to see who is up there to fight.”
Verstappen has broken records with an astounding level of dominance this year, toppling Hamilton's previous benchmark for the most points scored in a campaign and becoming the first driver to win 14 races in a single season.
Pressed if racing the Mercedes driver is different compared to the rest, Verstappen added: “Everyone is different. Every single driver is different to race against.
“I have had different kinds of battles anyway and like I said before, every driver is different in battle.
"When you always have to go to the limit and really fight for the position, it is always very nice.”