Title pursuit is Hamilton priority, not new deal

Portimao (Portugal) (AFP) –


Lewis Hamilton is focused on winning his seventh drivers' title and, he said on Thursday, does not consider re-signing with Mercedes to be a priority.

He said he wanted to stay with the team, but had not yet agreed to do so and sign a new deal with team chief Toto Wolff for "no particular reason".

Wolff, the driving force behind Mercedes' record run of six successive team triumphs, is also out of contract this year.

Hamilton, who is seeking to claim a record 92nd career victory in Sunday's Portuguese Grand Prix, said there were no problems.

Asked if it was a formality that he would remain with Mercedes, he said: "A formality? I don't know. Probably.

"I guess, at some stage, we have to sit down and have the conversation, but it's not a priority right now -- getting the job done, for me this year, personally, is the priority. That's what I’m solely focused on right now."

He added that he was aware of speculation about his future and said it was a matter of timing for his negotiations, but stressed his commitment to Mercedes was unwavering.

"I've done it multiple times now. It's just when the time is right, we'll go and get on with it. At the end of the day, I've always been committed to this team and completely transparent."

He added that he had no fear of losing his seat and had not spoken to any other teams.

"We have achieved quite a lot together and it's quite remarkable what we've done together over these years and we are still not done," he said.

"I haven't made any decisions, but I do want to stay. Normally, when we sit down, it's been three-year periods, but of course we are in a different time.

"Do I want to continue for three years is also a question. There are many, many questions still to be answered."

He added: "If you look short-term, you could say there's going to be companies that are going out (of business) during this time. Mercedes, I would say, are on the climb back.

"I would say they're now in a much better place. Everyone's had a big hit this year, but if you look at the future I think the future's bright."