'I'm not thinking about stopping' - Lewis Hamilton wants to race in F1 beyond 2021

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Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton
Joe Portlock

• Lewis Hamilton does not see his F1 career ending at the end of 2021.

• The driver says that winning the 2021 championship will not determine his future.

• Hamilton admits that it's difficult for him to 'establish the limits'.

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Lewis Hamilton has given the clearest sign yet that he intends to stay in Formula 1 beyond 2021.

The seven time world champion, and his employer Mercedes, surprised the F1 world when a mere one-year extension to Hamilton's existing contract was announced.

But the 36-year-old now tells La Gazzetta dello Sport that there was no time to negotiate a longer term.

Hamilton said: "My situation doesn't depend on whether we win this championship or not. I wanted a one-year contract because I told Toto Wolff that it was necessary to start the talks much earlier than January. But I'm completely devoted to the sport and I love what I do. We have a real battle ahead of us this year, but I've always liked that.

"Personally I'm not thinking about stopping, but who knows? I can continue to work in F1 after my racing career ends but at the moment it's hard for me to imagine not getting in and racing."

In another interview, this time with Sky Italia, Hamilton defended his reputation for not being fully focused on F1.

He admitted: "Finding the balance is the hardest thing. It's never nice when people say 'You had a bad race because you were distracted by all these other things'. It's a very easy way for others to attack you. I remember flying straight to the circuit from a New York fashion show and even Niki Lauda told me 'You can't do that'.

"Then I did my lap in qualifying and everyone said 'Ah, you can do that!' It's up to me to establish the limits of how far I can go."

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Lewis Hamilton
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