However, Verstappen, who currently upholds a 125-point lead, has repeatedly declared that he may choose to leave F1 once his Red Bull contract expires in 2028.
When asked if there was a chance he might walk away sooner if Red Bull falls back once the rules are reset in 2026, Verstappen told De Telegraaf:“Then it must be very bad and dramatic, I think. I also don’t expect a team to fall back that far, with all those good people walking around with us.
“It can always be the case in this sport that you are not doing well as a team. Then it’s about what the outlook is and what the perspective is.
“But indeed, I don’t see myself touring around in [the] midfield for three years. Then I would rather stay at home or do something else. But again: I don’t see that happening.”
Verstappen concedes that he did ponder the possibility of departing Red Bull at points prior to his championship success.
He admits that both the Austrian outfit’s decision to switch from Renault to Honda engines in 2019 and the subsequent choice to develop its own powertrain for 2026 were integral to him committing to Red Bull.
Questioned on whether the prospect of leaving Red Bull had ever seriously crossed his mind, the two-time World Champion responded: “Not that. But I did think: will it still work here? But we always got back together in the end.
“A lot has happened within the team over the years. Just look at the switch of engine supplier, from Renault to Honda, and the way in which it is now working on its own engine.
“There was always something to look forward to. That was the deciding factor to extend my contract.”
Whilst his supreme confidence has often been mistaken for arrogance, Verstappen asserts that it’s imperative a racing driver believes wholeheartedly they are the best.
“As a driver you should always think like that, I think,” he said. “Otherwise you will never be successful.
“Even if you are not the best driver, you still have to radiate that and think of yourself. For example, I would never admit that I am not the best in the paddock.”
Pressed on whether he had ever doubted his own abilities Verstappen, replied: “I have never asked myself the question: am I as good as I think I am? Sometimes it doesn’t quite come out, there are some unfortunate moments and you might force a little more.
“That was the case at the beginning of 2018. I remember well when I pressed the reset button after the Monaco Grand Prix. Then I thought: grind everything and just start over.
“Since the race after, in Canada, things have also gone well. Those stupid questions at the time about my riding style and form drove me crazy. Then you get a stupid answer back.”