Lewis Hamilton is “not putting a limit” on how much longer he will race in Formula 1 as he prepares to discuss a new multi-year contract with Mercedes.
Seven-time F1 world champion Hamilton revealed in an interview with select media including Motorsport.com in Austin that he plans to sign a new F1 contract in the next couple of months.
Hamilton’s existing Mercedes F1 contract expires at the end of the 2023 season, but he made clear that he is looking to continue beyond that point as he goes in search of a record-breaking eighth world title.
Asked on Thursday in Mexico how much longer he expected to stay in F1, Hamilton replied: “I’m not putting a limit on it, to be honest.
“I’m planning to do a multi-year deal with my team. I really, really don’t know what the next five years [hold], I think we’re still trying to work on that.
“There’s a lot of great things that are being put in place, like I’ve just launched a [film] production company this week. But I feel great, like in mind and body.
“I think there’s more stuff to achieve together. I just don’t know [how long].”
Hamilton joked that if former teammate and rival Fernando Alonso left F1 then “maybe I’ll think about it twice, because I’ll be the oldest driver then!”
At 37, Hamilton has shown few signs of slowing down in recent times, even through a difficult campaign that has seen Mercedes struggle to challenge pace-setters Red Bull and Ferrari.
Hamilton has three races left this year to avoid the first winless campaign of his F1 career, having tied Michael Schumacher’s record for 15 seasons with a victory in 2021.
Hamilton felt it was “difficult to say” how this year’s struggles with Mercedes had impacted his motivation but made clear his passion and determination to turn things around remained as strong as ever.
“Each year you have to ask yourself what you’re willing to give, [to] give as much if not more than when you first started,” said Hamilton.
“Are you willing to give up all your time to prepare and train and work with the team and deliver? If there’s ever a moment that I’m arriving and I’m just coasting along, that’s when, firstly, I don’t belong here and I don’t deserve a position here, and when I should stop.
“I question myself whether I’m able to do that and whether I want to do that, and the answer is yes.
“We obviously have a championship that we need to get back, and I love the mission and that challenge with my team.”
Hamilton and Mercedes have worked hard through the season to try and understand the issues they faced with the W13 car, particularly the bouncing problem it faced in the early part of the year.
The team’s developments have helped bring it closer to the front, allowing Hamilton to come within seven laps of victory last weekend in Austin, only to lose out to Max Verstappen in the closing stages.
Hamilton credited the work that everyone at Mercedes had put in this year, saying it was “beautiful to see the journey that everyone individually” has gone on as well as collectively as a team.
“We’ve gelled together, pooled together, pulled up closer to each other, been more open and, with a room really full of men more often, them showing more of their vulnerability,” he said.
“That’s been a really interesting process, and I’m grateful to be a part of it. I can’t wait for the time that we get back to success, that we finally get that win and we get that championship.
“It’s going to make all these tough moments worthwhile.”