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2018 F1

At the core of me is racing, above everything else – Hamilton

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Lewis Hamilton has given a strong sign that he is motivated not only to win this year’s world championship, but then keep racing beyond 2018.

The long delay in the Briton’s new Mercedes contract has triggered speculation he might actually call it a day in order to focus on his other hobbies including music and fashion.

But Hamilton told Paper magazine that he is still committed to F1.

“There are a lot of different things that motivate me. My desire to win this championship is greater than it’s ever been,” he said.

“I do all of these different things in my life and I have all of these other interests, but none of this would be possible without racing.

“At the core of me is racing, above everything else,” the quadruple world champion added. “So much time, dedication and sacrifice has gone into getting where I am today and I love what I do. I love the competition and the challenge.”

Hamilton admits, however, that Mercedes will be hard pressed to beat Ferrari this weekend in France.

But he will finally get the new Montreal-spec engine in Paul Ricard, while Ferrari will again be using the thinner Pirelli tyres on which Sebastian Vettel struggled in Barcelona.

Hamilton said: “Ferrari has done the better job lately and is a bit ahead of us, so we need to do more.”

But ahead of the first-ever F1 triple header of races, Hamilton said he is feeling strong and not expecting to lose to Vettel.

“That would be to show weakness, and my will is not weak,” the 33-year-old insisted.

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