Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says he intends to be in Formula 1 for “at least another three years”.
The 35-year-old world champion is out of contract with Mercedes at the end of this year but said he planned to continue “for the foreseeable future”.
Hamilton is preparing for the British Grand Prix, which he has won six times.
“I want to perform at the level I’m performing at now forever, but there is a point when physicality and the mental side can tail off,” he said.
“I don’t know when that’s going to be but I don’t see it happening in the short term, in the next two or three years.”
Hamilton said the enforced break caused by the coronavirus lockdown this year had refreshed him and potentially lengthened the time he could stay in F1.
“The Covid lockdown, while it was a negative in many, many ways, it gave me a lot of life and energy to focus on some other things and that bit of time off was really a bit of breathing space,” said Hamilton.
“It has given me a renewed bit of energy to perhaps go longer.
“Also, we are in period of time when there is not another driver from my background coming at the moment and I am conscious of that.
“I want to earn my position and I still feel like every year I come back it’s not a given just because I have world championships under my belt.
“You have to earn the right to be here in terms of how you perform. My goal is to continue to deliver for as long as I can, so I see myself going for at least another three years.”
Hamilton and his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas head into this weekend’s British Grand Prix as strong favourites after winning all three races between them so far.
Hamilton, who leads the championship by five points, has won two of the races and Bottas one and the Briton is determined to add to his record tally of British GP wins.
Mercedes have dominated the start of the season, with a car that has appeared out of reach of any other, and it is expected to be stronger than ever around the fast sweeps of Silverstone, a track that should emphasise its many strengths.
But Hamilton played down the prospect of Mercedes winning every race this season.
“Our goal is always to win every race, that’s what we set out to do every year,” he said. “But you are constantly faced with challengers. Red Bull get stronger and stronger though the season. Ferrari have some big improvements to make on the car.” (BBC)