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McLaren's Lewis Hamilton indicated on Thursday he could leave a decision on his Formula One future until the end of the season.
The 2008 World champion, who has been backed by the team since he drove go-karts, will be out of contract at the end of the year and there has been speculation about his intentions even if he is widely expected to stay put.
The 27-year-old Briton told reporters at the Canadian Grand Prix circuit in Montreal, where he won for the first time in an astonishing 2007 debut season, that he was focused entirely on the here and now.
The twice Canadian GP winner said when asked about contract talks: “I've not even started to think about it yet, just trying to get my first win of the season - that's the most important thing at the moment.”
Hamilton had said at the start of the season that he was likely to decide sooner rather than later but he recognised on Thursday that he had underestimated how difficult and unpredictable the season would turn out to be.
There have been an unprecedented six different winners in the first six races and Hamilton, currently 13 points off the lead in fourth place overall, has not been one of them.
“The championship is more important than what I have to do for my next contract.”
“My future at the moment is not important; what is important is that I capitalise on maximising this year,” he said.
Asked if he could wait until after the championship was over, he replied “possibly”.
“I have a job at the moment and I am not in any rush, no rush at all, so there is no need to do it now,” he added.
Hamilton has now started 96 races for McLaren, the same number as the late triple champion Ayrton Senna - his boyhood hero - started for the team.
When it was pointed out to him, Hamilton said he had not realised the fact but felt “very privileged” to be a part of the team and hoped to stay for a lot longer.
McLaren have also said they want him to stay and are not in any hurry to nail down a new contract.
Managing director Jonathan Neale told reporters earlier in the week: “Quite clearly we would like him to continue racing for us, he'd like to continue racing for us.”
“But we have plenty of time, we don't need to make that decision until much later in the year.” - Reuters