Racing legend Mario Andretti has told critics to get off Lewis Hamilton's back for his showbiz lifestyle.
Hamilton has become as big a talking point for his off-track antics as his performances on it, and recently made a series of appearances on US talk shows to further boost his worldwide profile.
And while his former team boss Ron Dennis is one who has questioned Hamilton's lifestyle, Andretti thinks that the Mercedes driver is fully entitled to enjoy his time away from the car.
"Living day-by-day he [Hamilton] is seizing the moment," Andretti told Motorsport.com, during an appearance at the Autosprint Golden Helmet Awards.
"He's having fun and is leading a different life – with a very personal style.
"But he's a good guy. He knows what the priorities are, and for that we should not criticise him for anything at all.
"I don't think the way he lives has an effect on his performance. As long as he has the right motivation, he will remain a top driver."
Title challenge coming
Despite his praise for Hamilton, Andretti thinks the Briton will face a tougher time on track in 2016 as Ferrari's title challenge ramps up.
Andretti, who famously drove for the Italian team, believes that with Sebastian Vettel on board it is well set for a championship assault.
"Yes, of course," he said. "Vettel is the right person for Maranello. It seems to me that the environment at Ferrari is very motivated and serene. I think they have the right conditions to give their best next year.
"The team at Maranello, as always, gives 110 percent to get back on top.
"But now I see a team that doesn't think to win a race every now and again, as happened in 2015. It is one that will fight for the title: and I hope return to the summit."