By Mark Mann-Bryans, PA, Suzuka
Lewis Hamilton has hinted he could race for another five years after Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff revealed the pair had recently spoken about his future.
The seven-time world champion has one more year left of his Mercedes deal at the end of the current season.
Hamilton (37) holds the record for the most wins, pole positions and podiums in Formula One history and is tied with Michael Schumacher for the most drivers’ championships.
But he appears to be far from finished, Wolff telling Channel 4 last weekend that “we sat down and he says ‘look, I have another five years in me, how do you see that?’”
Asked ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix if that was his plan, Hamilton replied: “I haven’t spoken to him (Wolff) about his comments but I can’t say just yet.
“Possibly, yes, I’m feeling good. I love what I’m doing. We have a lot of work to do, a lot to achieve still. So I’m not planning on going anywhere, any time soon.”
Wolff hailed Hamilton as the “shining star on and off track” in F1 and it was with one eye on his future out of the car where the Briton explained why he wants to remain in the sport for well beyond an additional five years.
“It’s not that I’m not sure, I know what I want to do. I plan on staying longer. It’s just not set in stone how long,” he added.
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) October 5, 2022
“I plan on staying with Mercedes for the rest of my life, that’s a definite. It’s more figuring out what we are going to do down the line, even beyond racing I want to be building with Mercedes and there is a lot that Mercedes can do, it’s not just a car manufacturer.
“It provides so many jobs for so many people and it has such a powerful platform to really shift narratives and it has a place where it can have a really positive impact on the environment – there’s loads of things that we can do together and I want to be a part of that.
“I want to be part of that shift and work process with Mercedes far beyond races and championships, but for now it’s to win world championships and that’s the immediate focus.”