Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen says he does not feel sorry for Lewis Hamilton after edging the Brit to the title in the last lap of the last race under controversial circumstamces.
Hamilton looked home and dry in Abu Dhabi but a Nicholas Latifi crash forced a late safety car that sparked an unprecedented chain of events that allowed Verstappen to pass Hamilton in a one-lap shootout.
Still, Verstappen was short on sympathy for Hamilton after stealing his crown.
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"No, I don't feel sorry," he said ahead of the annual prize-giving gala of the FIA. "But I can understand of course that it can be very painful.
"At the end of the day, that's racing as well. You know, you have to just keep fighting until the end. And you know that in racing, anything can happen.
And I mean, he also won a championship like that. So yeah, I think he can understand as well.
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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said on Thursday that Hamilton remains disillusioned with the sport following the race, and is unsure whether he will even return to racing after such a devastating finale.
But Verstappen believes Hamilton can and will still challenge for a record-breaking eighth title, and that the heartbreak will subside with time.
"Well, I mean, of course I can understand that the first few days after a race like that you know, you're not happy," he added.
"But you should also understand, like I said before, this is racing at the end of the day and these things can happen to you. And I think he should just look back at what he has achieved already.
"That should give him a lot of comfort and should also be that drive to just keep on going because he is still, you know, 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, you know, to give up or stop now."
As for 24-year-old Verstappen, he is looking ahead forward to a long a successful career with Red Bull.
I already said it on the radio in the end, I want to do this with this team for another 10 or 15 years, so hopefully within those years, of course, we can win more championships because that's always been the goal.
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