MAX VERSTAPPEN has insisted now is not the time for F1 rival Lewis Hamilton to throw in the towel.
The Red Bull man was finally crowned world champion at a glitzy gala in Paris on Thursday night.
His title came in controversial circumstances after a shock safety car decision gifted him victory over Hamilton at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Afterwards the veteran Mercedes racer admitted he was unsure if he would continue – a stance later backed up by Merc boss Toto Wolff.
But Verstappen said: “Of course, I can understand that the first few days, after a race like that, you’re not happy.
“You should also understand this is racing and these things can happen to you.
“I think he should just look back at what he has achieved, and that should give him a lot of comfort and that drive to keep on going.
“He is still trying to challenge for that eighth title, and he can do that again next year, so I don’t see any reason why to give up or stop now.”
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Furious Mercedes bosses saw protests over the Abu Dhabi result rejected at the circuit on the day.
But they opted not to appeal to the FIA court after agreeing to work with motorsport bosses to clarify rules for the future.
The newly-knighted Hamilton snubbed the champion’s ceremony in the French capital on Thursday.
His decision not to attend could see him slapped with a fine under FIA rules, which say the runner-up should be there too.