Jenson Button believes that Lewis Hamilton would miss F1 dearly if he left the sport at the end of the year with "so much more" to achieve.
Last month, ahead of the start of the 2021 season, Hamilton signed a new contract with Mercedes, but a for a single year, a term that many believe foretells the Briton's exit from F1, and even more so if the seven-time world champion succeeds in adding a record eighth title to achievements.
But Button believes his former McLaren teammate should keep on going next year, regardless of this season's outcome.
"It’s tricky, some of us like to leave at the top of our game, but he is going to miss this sport," Button told Sky F1.
"It’s been his life forever, you really have to be ready to leave, and I know that.
"For a couple of years, I was thinking about leaving F1 and then I left that [decision], and it was the right thing to do to stay for those extra couple of years.
"I don’t think he should leave F1, I think it’s too early for him, I think he can still achieve so much more."
If Hamilton does decide to remain in the fast lane next year, few believe he would drive with another outfit then Mercedes.
But Button suggests that a change of environment and a new challenge could spur on the 36-year-old's motivation.
"Maybe change teams, try something different? Build a team around him again and then fight for another World Championship," said the 2009 world champion.
Regardless of what the future may hold, Hamilton's scintillating drive in last weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix offered another emphatic indication that the F1 star is nowhere near losing his edge, a fact he expressed himself after Sunday's race.
"Each year they’re talking about when you’ve hit your peak, and I think timing is everything," Hamilton told Sky F1.
"I think I’m at that. We love the challenge, I love the challenge, I still love what I do."