Lewis Hamilton has insisted nothing is “set in stone” about his F1 future, saying: “I don’t have all the answers yet.”
Speculation intensified after his Emilia Romagna Grand Prix victory that Hamilton may decide to walk away from Formula 1 at the end of the season when he stated he did not know if he would be on the grid next year.
If he did so, it would almost certainly be as a seven-time World Champion. The Briton will equal Michael Schumacher’s record of titles unless his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas can overturn an 85-point deficit in the standings over the last four races of the campaign.
He could be crowned as early as this weekend, with Bottas needing to outscore Hamilton by eight or more points at the Turkish Grand Prix to keep the pursuit alive.
But with Hamilton out of contract at the end of the season, he claimed the 11-day gap between his triumph at Imola and his press conference on the eve of the Istanbul weekend had brought him no closer to deciding whether to continue or retire at the age of 35.
How the Drivers' Standings shape up ahead of Turkey
If Lewis finishes in front of Valtteri on Sunday he will be World Champion for the seventh time 👇
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) November 12, 2020
“Believe it or not, I haven’t got all the answers to what I want to do yet,” said Hamilton.
“The foundation of the contract I have is, I believe, the best contract there is in terms of how it’s structured, in terms of time management, the team that’s put around me.
“I’m always looking to see how we can improve, how I can be more efficient and do more for the partners, how I can position myself to do more for the team.
“Naturally in this step I think it’s easy to just go and sign a deal and continue, not having thought of what’s afterwards.
“I’m very conscious of the idea that I do want to continue with Mercedes. I would love to help them on this quest pushing for change, making their cars green and electrifying more. I want to help them on that road. There’s a lot to discuss and go through.
“I think it’s something we will do after the job is done, but nothing is set in stone. At the moment I don’t feel like I’m finished. I feel like, moving forward, there are always areas to improve – I love racing, I love the challenge and I don’t think that will change any time soon.”