Lewis Hamilton says he is in no hurry to resolve his Formula 1 future but indicated that off-track freedom will play a large role in negotiating a new Mercedes deal.
Hamilton has been with Mercedes since 2013 and in that spell has won five titles, while exploring off-track activities, including launching his own fashion range.
Hamilton’s current deal with Mercedes expires at the end of 2020 and his options elsewhere appear limited, with Ferrari indicating that keeping Sebastian Vettel is its priority.
Ferrari has Charles Leclerc under contract through 2024 while at Red Bull it has Max Verstappen signed through 2023.
“We haven’t sat down,” said Hamilton on discussions. “I know Toto [Wolff] is keen to but right now the focus is on trying to make sure you are fit and ready for the season ahead as it ramps up and you want to sort on the front foot.
“It is not something I really get bogged down with at this period of time.
“I think as a team we are always very clear with our plans, we update each other often in terms of our thinking so none of us get crazy with thoughts or conversations happening elsewhere.”
On the upcoming discussions, Hamilton said: “I really don’t know what will be different, it is usually the same details that really matter.
“I’ve been really fortunate within this team, people always talk about freedom in this team as if it is a bad thing but it is not at all.
“When I joined Mercedes they allowed me to be who I am to be and where I want to be rather than keep me constricted or ask me to be a certain way or to speak a certain way or dress a certain way which is often what you see at other places.
“I think it has been great and there are all these question marks over all the different things that I do and everyone has seen the results that I have over these few years so I am able to continue to prove that it is actually encouraging and helps me be more engaged and be an even better driver than I thought I could be.
“Going into more fine details and what my next five to 10-year plan is and how the decisions made now will impact the future and that allows me to put certain things in place so that when I do stop and hang up my helmet I am able to continue to do other things.
“That will be in the small print of what we talk about but that’s what we will mostly be talking about.”