F1 legend Alain Prost has said that he understands Lewis Hamilton's silence, ever since losing the 2021 title in dramatic and contentious circumstances at the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
Hamilton has vanished ever since that day, with rumours spreading as a result that the seven-time World Champion could call time on his F1 career ahead of the sport's new era beginning.
Prost himself experienced intense disappointment in a title fight, losing the 1984 championship by just half a point to McLaren teammate Niki Lauda.
It would have marked Prost's first title and the Frenchman explained that there were few similarities with Hamilton's disappointment.
"No, because it was completely different," Prost told RacingNews365.com, when asked whether he could draw comparisons with his 1984 title loss.
"I can understand Lewis' position, because he had done a fantastic race [in Abu Dhabi]. He was quicker, he had almost the championship in the pocket. And don't forget that it was [going to be] his eighth championship, so that means a lot for him.
"Also, in this case, you can be very disappointed, because you don't know what's going to happen in the future. You never know that you could be in the same position because of the new rules."
Prost "really hopes" Hamilton will stay in F1
Prost went on to win four titles after that 1984 setback and explained that he hadn't lost any heart in the wake of the loss – a very different experience to when he missed out on the 1990 crown after being taken out by Ayrton Senna at Suzuka.
With seven titles behind Hamilton, Prost reckons the British driver is having to ask himself questions about his motivation levels.
"You may also lose your motivation," Prost explained.
"If you talk about my 1984 season, I did not lose my motivation at all. We had a good year with Niki. It was very different at the end of 1990, after Suzuka, where I almost stopped, I almost retired. It was very, very close.
"I can understand. I think it's a 50/50 decision for Lewis but I hope, I really hope, he is going to stay and fight again.
"I don't know, this kind of decision is very personal. But I think he will be back. I hope he will be back, because that [him leaving] would be very bad for Formula 1, for sure."
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F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Thomas Maher and Mike Seymour weigh up the possibility that Lewis Hamilton might leave F1 behind, as well as analysing what might be uncovered during the FIA investigation into the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.