Lewis Hamilton will return to F1 this season despite his ongoing silence since losing out on an eighth title at the end of last year.
That is the verdict of former F1 driver and Sky Sports F1 co-commentator Martin Brundle who is convinced the seven-time champion will not call it a day on the back of the controversy that unfolded at the Yas Marina circuit in mid-December.
Hamilton has maintained a silence since showing dignity in defeat to Red Bull's Max Verstappen on that day due to what Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff described as "disillusionment" with the sport and switching off from all social media.
It has led to considerable debate as to whether Hamilton will return, particularly if the man who effectively cost him another championship in FIA race director Michael Masi remains in charge for the coming campaign, and that even Mercedes would pull out of the sport.
Dismissing that notion out of hand in a Sky Sports F1 YouTube channel special, Brundle said: "Absolutely not. Don't buy any of it, to be honest.
"I'm sure Toto is being asked by Lewis 'What are you doing about this?'
"Formula 1 is fantastically successful for the Mercedes-Benz brand. Lewis is 37 years old, we know he is still driving at his peak [and is] incredibly determined and competitive, and he'll be back."
Brundle cannot believe Hamilton would walk away if Masi is allowed to continue to call the shots in F1 this year, believing that would strike at the heart of his desire.
"I'm a little bit uncomfortable, let's just put this issue to one side, of a team and a driver starting to determine who's doing what in race control, or in any other role in Formula 1 to an extent. That's the tail wagging the dog," remarked Brundle.
"If my driver came to me, if I was a Formula 1 boss, and said 'Look, I don't think I want to race any more if that guy's still around', I would immediately stop thinking about race control and start thinking 'Hang on, has my driver lost his motivation?', which, of course, he hasn't.
"Lewis will be back and be pressing the throttle ever harder."