Hamilton plays down quit suggestions

·1-min read

Lewis Hamilton, who could wrap up a record-equalling seventh world title at Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix, has played down speculation that he could walk away from Formula One and his Mercedes team.

Cryptic comments at the last race stunned the F1 press pack, but he was more straightforward on Thursday, saying issues which interest him outside of the sport and which he wants included in the deal were holding up the announcement of a new contract.

"I'm very conscious of the idea that I do want to continue with Mercedes. I would love to help them on this quest in pushing for change," the Mercedes driver told a news conference.

"They are taking their cars green, and electrifying more, and I want to help them on that road. So there's a lot to discuss, and a lot to go through."

He also made it clear he still loved F1 and reckoned that "it was far beyond my wildest dreams to think I could get to seven championships.

"I love racing, I love the challenge and I don't think that's going to change anytime soon.

"I would be incredibly proud to match an icon like Michael Schumacher," the 35-year-old added, referring to the great German champion who won seven titles.

Hamilton has an 85-point lead over his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas and, with just three races left after Turkey, he knows the title is his as long as he leaves Istanbul with at least a 78-point advantage.