Four-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has admitted he is facing a dilemma over how long to continue as a Mercedes driver after revealing he does not want to miss out on experiences away from the sport.
While the Briton's contract with the German contractors ends at the end of next season, and talks over a new two-year contract look to be on the cards this week, the 32-year-old has confessed that he wants to explore other life opportunities.
Hamilton clinched his fourth world title at the Mexico Grand Prix in October with two races to spare in the 2017 season, and will want to be continuing hat momentum into the 2018 campaign.
"It's like the weather. It's about trying to find the balance," revealed Hamilton during an interview.
"I've currently got another year with the team and I do want to continue. But, I'm at that point where there's that question."
Former Mercedes colleague Nico Rosberg retired in December 2016 at the age of 31 after the pair were at each others throats for the majority of the Championship that year.
With four world championships, Hamilton is three shy of equalling Michael Schumacher's record of seven. He would need to sign the two-year contract extension and maybe another if he is to reach the German's number of title wins.
"You can't come back to F1. If it's next year, if it's five years from now, whatever happens you're gonna miss it when you finish.
"There's a saying you stay as long as you can - I'm not quite sure about that exactly, but there is a lot of life left beyond it. There are things that I've missed in life.
"I was talking to my best friend the other day about things that I do envy or look forward to, like living in one place, getting a routine, that's my gym, I have game night with my friends here, my family.
"Each year I stay in the sport, I delay those things. But from 40 onwards there's so much time for it."
Britain's richest sportsperson has made alterations to his daily life including going vegan, a decision which was made earlier this year, but it's more long-term life decisions which are playing on Hamilton's mind.
"My auntie died from cancer and on her last day she said, 'I've worked every day with the plan of stopping one day and doing all these different things, and then I ran out of time', so I'm battling with that in my mind.
"I have discovered these other strengths and qualities and I don't mind going to start in a company at the bottom and working my way up, if that's what I end up doing," he said.
"I don't mind doing an internship. I'm excited about learning new crafts. It's exciting, it's risky and I like the idea of that. It's different if you're worrying about a pension and you don't have the financial stability.
"There's the charity stuff I've done before, but I'm really starting to focus on the future as my time comes to an end in F1, putting things in place for that part of my future."
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