Lewis Hamilton says F1’s anti-racism and sustainability campaigns are the main reasons why he wants to stick around in the sport.
The seven-time world champion, who clinched the 2020 title with victory in the Turkish Grand Prix, has been surrounded by speculation about his future over recent weeks.
But ahead of imminent talks with Mercedes to finalise a new contract, Hamilton has said F1’s anti-racism push, plus its desire to become more sustainable, are key factors that entice him to remain a part of it.
Speaking about his future after the Istanbul race, Hamilton said: “I feel like I'm only just getting started. It is really weird. I feel physically in great shape and mentally...... has been a challenge that I didn't know how to get through.
“But with the help of great people around me, through the help of my team, through the help of Team LH, I managed to just keep my head above water and stay focused, so I'm really hopeful for a better year next year.
“I would love to stay. I feel like we've got a lot of work to do here. You know that we've only just begun. I want to push to hold ourselves accountable as a sport, to realise that we've got to face and not ignore the human rights issues that are around the countries that we go to.
“It’s how can we engage with those countries and help them, and empower them to do more to really change, not 10 years from now, nor 20 years from now, but now. I want to help F1. I want to help Mercedes, in that journey.
“And also particularly moving more sustainable, you know, as a sport. The whole thing of when we need to be more sustainable. I want to try and see if I can be part of that, at least the initial phase of that, for a little bit longer.”
Hamilton said that his post-race celebrations tonight would likely be a bowl of minestrone soup and a bottle of wine while he watches a replay of the race.
But he says amid the strict coronavirus protocols that he has had to live under, it is the kind of sacrifice he has got used to.
“This year I haven't gone out and I haven't gone to dinner,” he said. “I have just been staying in my bubble.
“I get room service every day and not really anything exciting. And that's naturally because I've got a championship to fight for, so I didn't want to take any risks.
“I think this year I sacrificed more than I have in my whole life. And, you know, it's really made it quite difficult.”
He added: “I'm going to go home tonight and most likely it is not going to be the most exciting thing. I'm probably just going to maybe watch the race. I usually have like a minestrone soup but will definitely have a bottle of wine.”