Throughout 2017, the triple world champion has been sending mixed messages about his future — hinting about a new deal beyond 2018 and then suggesting he could retire.
Asked to explain that contradiction, the Briton said in Malaysia: “Racing really gives me more pleasure than ever.
“But you have to look ahead. So I’m thinking about the decisions that I will take in the future.
“The longer I put off leaving the sport, the later my – how do I say it? – ‘next life’ will begin,” Hamilton, 31, explained.
“So I’m just trying to weigh everything up. In the meantime I’m continuing my career in formula one.”
So when asked about reports of a new three-year contract with Mercedes beginning in 2019, Hamilton answered: “At some point in the near future it will be the time to discuss it.
“Actually I think right now is a good time for negotiations, because I’m in great shape. You always want to negotiate a deal when you’re winning and leading the championship!” he smiled.