Lewis Hamilton is not ruling out an early retirement from Formula 1 but insists it is not something he thinks about a “huge amount.”
The Brit was on hand for Thursday’s launch of the new Mercedes W08.
This season he will have a different team-mate after the shock retirement of Nico Rosberg, who called it quits just five days after winning the 2016 World title.
As for whether a similar shock retirement is on the cards for Hamilton, he said: “I don’t think about retiring a huge amount, but of course I do think about it.
“At the end of each season and particularly at the beginning of each season, when you’re going through the tough training.
“I got in the car today and I was like, ‘I can still drive’, so that’s a good thing.
“I really don’t know when is going to be the time. It could be soon, it could be far away. That’s the exciting thing about life.”
As for whether Hamilton, who will partner Valtteri Bottas this season, is missing Rosberg, that’s a firm no.
“I don’t think I have ever missed a team-mate in my life because there is always one that takes his place,” he explained. “One day I will leave and another driver will come along.
“The experience of last year has helped me strengthen. I feel I am stronger. I feel more complete as a driver. I feel like I am the best prepared I have ever been.
“I didn’t win the World Championship last year and I want to change that.”