Max Verstappen has responded to talk that Lewis Hamilton could quit F1, saying there would be "no reason" for him to do so.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has admitted that he and Hamilton are feeling "disillusioned" about the events of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, in which Verstappen grabbed the win and world title in controversial circumstances.
Wolff gave no guarantees of Hamilton returning in 2022, though explained that he "very much hopes" that will be the case, once the dust has settled from the finale.
"There's no reason to give up now"
Speaking ahead of the FIA Prize-Giving Gala on Thursday night, which Wolff and Hamilton will miss, Verstappen was asked how bad it would be for the sport if the seven-time World Champion decided to leave.
In response, the Dutchman urged his rival to think about the bigger picture.
"Of course, I can understand that the first few days after a race like that, you're not happy," Verstappen told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"But you should also understand that this is racing, at the end of the day, and these things can happen to you.
"I think he should just look back at what he has achieved already and that should give him a lot of comfort - that drive to keep on going.
"He is still trying to challenge for that eighth title, and for sure he can do that again next year, so I don't see any reason why to give up or stop now."
Verstappen's "double celebration"
Verstappen also discussed Mercedes' initial protests, and their intention to appeal the stewards' dismissal, with confirmation that the team would not be proceeding only arriving on Thursday morning.
"I mean, there were two protests coming against us [after the race], [so there] was a little bit of a longer wait," said Verstappen.
"Nevertheless, we were still celebrating and then, once there was the all clear on that night, we had another celebration, so we basically had a double celebration!
"Since then, I haven't really thought about it too much. Of course, this morning, when I heard the news, I was happy about it, but I also expected it."
While the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship is over, the drama isn't ending as Mercedes have threatened protest of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix result...