LONDON (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton has hinted he could walk away from Formula One at the end of the season, while also indicating it was highly unlikely.
The triple world champion, so often an enigma shrouded in contradiction, offered little certainty after winning the British Grand Prix for a record-equalling fifth time.
What came across strongly, however, was that the Mercedes driver felt in the form of his life and would always want to be a winner.
“Apart from being with my family, the happiest moment I ever have is when I’ve got the car on a knife-edge and that’s never really changed,” he told reporters after Sunday’s race at Silverstone.
”In terms of contracts and stuff, I can’t really say what’s going to happen six months from now.
“But what I do know is I’m loving racing. I really, really do feel within myself that I’m driving better than I’ve ever driven.”
Hamilton has another year and a half to go on his Mercedes contract and is now just one point behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in the standings at the midpoint of the season.
While Hamilton has found the life balance that works for him, jetting across the Atlantic in-between races and taking a holiday in Greece just days before Silverstone, questions are regularly asked about his focus.
There has also been speculation that he could seek to see out his career at Ferrari.
Asked whether he was speaking in terms of not knowing whether he would still be in Formula One in six months’ time, Hamilton sought to clarify.
“No, I just think in life you don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said.
“Right now I love driving and then in six months I might... it’s very unlikely because I think I’m always going to like driving, I’m always going to like doing crazy stuff,” said the 32-year-old.
Earlier, in the post-race news conference, he had said he felt ”no current reason to want to have to stop.
“I’m still enjoying it and I still have a contract with the team for at least a year so I plan to see that out at the moment,” he added.
Only Michael Schumacher, with 91 wins, is ahead of Hamilton on victories while only four drivers since the championship started in 1950 have won four titles or more.
“Even in getting another championship, it will never be, ‘OK, now it’s time to hang up the gloves’. I’ll always want to win more,” said Hamilton, whose previous team mate Nico Rosberg quit immediately after winning the 2016 title.
“Even when I do stop, something inside me will say I still want to get more.”
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar