But when he tried to duck around the Dutch teenager approaching the chicane, Verstappen slammed the door by blocking off the inside, forcing the Mercedes to take evasive action.
"I can tell you that behind the scenes he [Hamilton] has been as focused as ever".
Max Verstappen continued his remarkable 2016 season by logging another second place in Sunday's F1 race in Japan - but only after a controversial defensive move stopped Lewis Hamilton from relieving him of the place.
Hamilton, whose fervour for social media has drawn ire over the past week, tweeted: "There is no protest from myself".
Formula One's ruling FIA said its investigation into the incident would not take place until the next race in Austin, Texas in two weeks since neither Verstappen nor Hamilton were able to attend a stewards' meeting.
Hamilton, who now trails Nico Rosberg by 33 points in the drivers' championship after the German's victory, attempted to pass Red Bull driver Verstappen at the chicane on the penultimate lap. Max drove well, end of.
Mercedes then lodged a protest against Verstappen's driving.
A Mercedes spokesperson later stated the protest had been withdrawn "in the interests of establishing a final official result this evening once it became apparent the hearing can not be concluded today". We are champions, we move on.
Verstappen has been a breath of fresh air for the sport since he arrived as a 17-year-old with Toro Rosso last season but his uncompromising attitude and aggressive tactics have caused controversy.
"What an awesome weekend", Rosberg said. Hamilton said: "I did the best I could from where I was in the race".
Hamilton, who has now failed to win since Hockenheim at the end of July, nearly fought back to take second as the Briton tried to duck around Verstappen coming into the chicane on the last lap.
His Finnish team mate Kimi Raikkonen, who started eighth after collecting a five-place penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change, also complained of track-hogging back markers on his way to a fifth-place finish.
There was a double stop for Hamilton, as there was with Rosberg, but with such a positional disadvantage from the start there was never going to be any strategy Hamilton could pull to get back in the race.