MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Triple Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton says his next Formula One contract is likely to be his last and does not want to ‘hog’ a seat and deny others a shot at glory.
The 30-year-old, who clinched his third title in Texas last weekend, indicated he intended to see out his career with Mercedes.
“I’ve got a contract for another three years. I imagine beyond this three years there could be one more contract of three or four years I will commit to and that would be it for me,” he told British reporters at the Mexican Grand Prix.
A move to Ferrari, the dream of most Formula One drivers, looked unlikely.
“There was always that talk of driving another car and I have done that. Ticked that box off. I have been driving with Mercedes since I was 13 so I can’t honestly see myself anywhere else,” he said.
“I don’t like to say never, but I think it would be pretty awesome to finish my career with this team.”
Hamilton made his F1 debut in 2007, given his chance at Mclaren when Kimi Raikkonen replaced seven times world champion Schumacher at Ferrari and Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya also departed.
He then moved to Mercedes in 2013 when Schumacher finally retired for the second time at the age of 43.
“For every year that he (Schumacher) stayed ... because he could stay and he enjoyed it, that’s one less seat for someone else that potentially could have come along maybe,” said Hamilton.
”Maybe there wasn’t anyone good enough at the time but I just remember how it happened for me in 2006. If they had not moved maybe I would not be in this position today, I would be somewhere else.
“I’ve got a friend also who had a chance to be in Formula One but it got missed and he never got the chance again so I am conscious I don’t want to hog it,” he said.
Hamilton said he might well be able to stay longer when the time came but he was likely to resist.
“I just feel there is a point in which I have done my piece here, I will have done 15 years in the sport so I am going to let someone else come in,” he explained.
The Briton spends an increasing amount of time in the United States and has plenty of interests outside the sport, particularly musical and in fashion, and is currently learning the piano.
“There is so much to do outside of racing,” he said. “I have made enough money that I don’t need to make any more money in my life but I will continue (racing).”
Editing by Peter Rutherford