Hamilton won't extend his F1 career despite enjoying Verstappen/Leclerc battles

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Lewis Hamilton claims the rise of new stars like Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc won't convince him to prolong his Formula 1 career.

Though the Briton is dominating this year's championship, since Austria it has been the pair of 21-year-old's stealing the show either battling each other or taking on Hamilton.

Indeed, the Mercedes driver has taken one of them on in each of the past three races but whereas the likes of Marc Marquez and others gave motivation for Valentino Rossi to continue in MotoGP, Lewis played down any possible comparison.

“It doesn’t do anything to extend my career because I don’t look at it that way but of course I love the challenge from whoever it is," he said at Monza.

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“While they are young I still feel young and fresh so I feel I am racing pretty well.

“That may change in a short period of time, who knows, I don’t know what trajectory I am on with my age, if there is a curve when the gut starts coming and the greys start coming, but I think I am still a way away from that.”

In Italy, Hamilton had what he considered his first true battle with Leclerc and it ended with some controversy as the Monegasque eased the world champion partially off the track under braking and was fortunate not to be penalised.

The 34-year-old though would play down any suggestion of a lack of respect from the younger drivers.

“There is no lack of respect between drivers," Hamilton replied. “I don’t have a problem, we are not in a fight, I congratulated him straight after I got out of the car.

“I think Charles is one of the most respectable drivers. Today is the first time I’ve really come wheel-to-wheel with him and as I said when you arrive with a new driver you learn how they approach different scenarios.

“Maybe you position your car differently next time, I would do a better job next time, who knows.”