Lewis Hamilton says he is “not in a rush” to start contract negotiations with Mercedes, while he is figuring out his “next 5 to 10 year plan”.
The six-time champion’s contract with Mercedes expires at the end of 2020, but the Briton is not in a rush to put pen to paper on the new deal.
“I’ve not really put much thought into it, to be honest,” said Hamilton.
“I don’t know what I’m gonna sit down and talk. I don’t see a particular rush. I think our goals are aligned – in a couple of months I’m sure we’ll sit down.
“I know Toto is keen to, but right now the focus is obviously trying to make sure you’re getting ready for the season. It ramps up, and you just want to start on the right foot.
“So it’s not something that I really get bogged down with at this period of time.”
With rumours swirling around regarding talks with other teams etc., Hamilton says there is a mutual trust between himself and Mercedes “so none of us kind of get crazy with thoughts of other conversations happening elsewhere”.
The Briton emphasized he values the freedom Mercedes provides him with, adding the team doesn’t dictate that he “be a certain way or speak a certain way or dress a certain way, which is often I think what you see in other places”.
“Everyone’s seen the results I’ve had the last few years,” continued Hamilton.
“So [I] just continue to prove that it’s actually encouraging, essentially helps me be more engaged, it helps me be an even better driver than I thought I could be.”
The Briton went on to say he is still in the process of figuring out what his next “five to ten year plan” is and that will play a large role in his contract negotiations.
“Going more into fine detail, I’m trying to figure out what my next five to ten year plan is, and how the decisions that are made now impact the future.
“And that does allow me to put certain things in place so that when I do stop and hang up my helmet, I’m able to continue on to other things.
“So that will be in the tiny, small print really of what we’ve been talking about. But that’s the one we’ll be talking mostly about.”
In the end the Briton emphasized the mutual respect he and Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff have for each other.
“We just don’t seem to have any problems.
“We share the same values, our goals are the same, the respect is huge,” concluded Hamilton.