Lewis Hamilton has urged Max Verstappen to "keep doing what he is doing" as the seven-time champion paid tribute to the soon-to-be three-time one.
Verstappen can seal a third-straight title in Qatar this weekend - and it could come as early as the Sprint race if he finishes inside the top six on Saturday.
The Red Bull driver's fierce 2021 title rival Hamilton has been unable to challenge for wins or the crown as Mercedes struggles with the ground-effect cars as Verstappen has assumed Hamilton's 'man to beat' mantle.
The 2021 battle was also fought off-track between the two teams and by fans on social media with three collisions for the pair and the controversial Safety Car ending in Abu Dhabi that handed Verstappen the title.
Despite this, relations between the two have remained cordial with Hamilton passing on a sage piece of advice.
"Max is currently doing excellently at Red Bull," Hamilton told Blick .
"The only other thing I can say about that is that he should keep doing what he is doing now.
"Max, Fernando [Alonso] and I are often competitive and go the furthest to achieve our goals.
"I just have no idea what their personalities are, because I have never sat in the living room with them."
Hamilton also touched on how he has grown from a 22-year-old rookie to 38-year-old elder statesman of the grid.
"It's 16 bloody years, [since] my first year of Formula 1, I was 22. I was still a kid, inexperienced, fast, but I didn't feel very comfortable in my skin back then," he said.
"I was exploring my personality and who I wanted to be. I am much happier than I was then and I know who I am.
"I know my goals off the track and would say I've done a lot of things right. I enjoy what I get to do. And we should all learn to never say never."