World rally champion Sébastien Ogier believes Lewis Hamilton was "robbed" of winning his eighth F1 title given the dramatic events that unfolded in Abu Dhabi.
Ogier, who has dominated the WRC with eight titles of his own in the last nine years, feels for that one race weekend at the Yas Marina Circuit, Mercedes driver Hamilton had another championship taken from his grasp.
The 38-year-old Frenchman has no qualms with Red Bull's Max Verstappen winning his maiden crown, insisting he deserves the honour.
Ogier has simply suggested that given the circumstances at the time in Abu Dhabi, and the way the final laps played out after a safety car was summoned following Nicholas Latifi's crash in his Williams, a "theft" took place.
Speaking on RMC's Super Moscato Show, Ogier said: "It [the situation] must have been very difficult to accept.
"He [Hamilton] had the impression of being robbed, and he has been robbed. Let's not be afraid of words.
"Even though I have a lot of respect for Verstappen, he had an amazing season, he has not stolen the title.
"Both merits being champion but it is true that for this last weekend, Lewis was in front until the end.
"Unfortunately for him, a few laps before the end of the race there is the famous safety car, then they restart again.
"The truth is both would have been wonderful champions but on this last weekend, it is theft."
Hamilton has since remained silent, fuelling speculation with regards to his future and whether he will return to F1 this season, but Ogier has no doubts the 37-year-old will not walk away.
"He will come back," added Ogier. “He is in an ultra-competitive environment with the best team right now."