From sixth on the grid for the Belgian Grand Prix, Verstappen delivered another consummate drive to finish 22 seconds ahead of Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez en route to an eighth consecutive grand prix victory, and 10th overall if you include the last two sprint events.
Asked whether it was all too easy for Verstappen at present, Hamilton smiled, shrugged, and said: “What do you want me to say? I haven't spoken to him….he's having a smoke and a pancake! You know where that's from, right?”
Whilst the comment refers to easy-going Dutch people, it was also a reference to the skit in the 2002 movie ‘Austin Powers: Goldmember'.
For Hamilton, it was a nondescript weekend as his W14 did not have the pace to challenge at the front, or even Ferrari's Charles Leclerc for a possible third in the grand prix.
After polesitter Leclerc was passed by Perez on the opening lap and then Verstappen on lap nine, he managed to keep Hamilton at arm's length in the fight for the final podium place for the remainder of the race, although fuel-saving in the later stages left him on edge.
“It always felt like he (Leclerc) had an answer for all the laps I was doing,” said Hamilton. “They (Ferrari) had the upper hand. I was trying, pushing a lot, but I had a lot of deg, particularly in the middle sector.”
A silver lining saw Hamilton claim the fastest-lap point from Verstappen on the final tour, but with the realisation that he goes into the summer break still staring at the chasm in performance between Mercedes and Red Bull.
“There are lots of positives to take from this weekend, but we've got work to do, naturally,” remarked Hamilton.
“I'm still incredibly proud of everybody, they've been working insanely hard. We've been making big steps, with the biggest when we got to Monaco, and the car has really progressed a lot since then.
“We have a better understanding of where to position it, and it's been a lot more consistent. We've more podiums, more top-five finishes, which has been great.
“We've been generally getting solid, great reliability, so there are lots and lots of good bits, but the balance we still have to work on, and we need more downforce, as we always do.
“I know everyone back at the factory is head down focused on doing that, and I'm massively focused on getting second for the team in the constructors', keeping that, and trying to get third (in the drivers').”
Hamilton has only finished once outside of the top four in the last six races, with three podiums during that period to leave him one point behind Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso who currently holds third.
Following considerable to-ing and fro-ing of late following the arrival of upgrades for the teams, more of an order developed in Belgium, which has left Hamilton wondering if it will remain in place over the second phase of the campaign.
“I don't know how much development people will be doing in the second part of the season, but I think there will be movement,” he said.
“I don't know what's happened to Aston, they've taken a step back, but I'm sure McLaren is going to be strong in the second phase, Ferrari and us. We're very, very close.
“Dependant on track, I'm sure there will be some movement, positions for us all. I hope we can compete a little bit better, and move closer.”