Hamilton dreams to 'retire as a world champion' as rumoured new contract emerges

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Lewis Hamilton admits "retiring as a world champion is a dream" he wants to achieve as rumours of a new Mercedes deal emerge.

The Briton, who turned 38 earlier this month, is out of contract at the end of 2023 but an extension has been seen as a matter of when not if, with talks planned before the new season.

And at least from Hamilton's perspective, despite his worst year ever in F1 last year with no wins, no poles and a sixth-place finish in the Drivers' standings, the desire is still firmly there to continue for a few more years at least.

"Sometimes you wake up and have this feeling, I don't want to do this anymore, and sometimes you wake up and think, I can still do other things my whole life, there is definitely more I want to achieve [in F1]," he told German newspaper Bild.

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"It won't be a terribly long time now, but I'll definitely be staying.

"I think retiring as a world champion is a dream that every athlete has - and so do I. I know how hard it is to be at the top and to stay there. We want to get back to the top."

And with Mercedes making progress towards the end of 2022, the seven-time world champion sees no reason why an eighth can't be the goal this year.

“Going into the winter, the team knows that we’re on the right track," he said.

"We are still the best team. We will get back to having this more consistent I think next year and I’m excited for that battle."

At the same time, following the recent retirements of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, Hamilton revealed that his focus has been changing as he gets older.

“For me, motorsport is not the most important thing either,” he said.

“When I was a child, maybe it was. Probably also when I got into Formula 1. Ever since I was in my thirties, I’ve realised that it’s all about creating memories.

“With friends, with family. It’s about key memories with the people who mean the most to you. That’s what I focus on and plan things to create those moments because that’s what you carry with you.”

Even when he does retire, Hamilton is likely to have a key role at Mercedes, as highlighted by the details of a rumoured new contract.

Sportune reports a two-year race seat extension is to be offered until the end of 2025 worth 70m Euros per year, followed by a 10-year ambassadorial role at Daimler, Mercedes' parent company, earning 25m Euros per year.

No doubt Hamilton's future will be subject to plenty of speculation between now and an eventual announcement.