Lewis Hamilton insists he has no desire to compete in any other form of motorsport outside of Formula 1, instead dropping a tantalising hint about his “exciting” future off-track plans.
The three-time world champion, whose existing Mercedes contract expires at the end of 2018, started karting at the age of eight and is set to complete his 11th season in F1 – but has rarely spoken enthusiastically about any other series.
Hamilton, 32, is currently the fourth-oldest driver on the grid but that hasn’t changed his mind about competing anywhere else.
“I don’t have any desires to do any other racing,” Hamilton said. “By the time l stop it could be 30 years. Everything else is a step down the ladder.”
The Englishman’s stance differs from many of his peers. Fernando Alonso drove at the 2017 Indianapolis 500, Nico Hulkenberg is a 24 Hours of Le Mans winner while Kimi Raikkonen took two years out of F1 for rallying and NASCAR.
But Hamilton explained: “There is no other racing series that l have any desire to drive – which is a shame.
“I wish l had more passion to do an Indy Car or a Le Mans. But there is zero, there is nothing. I have more exciting things outside which l am passionate about.
“I’ve always respected [Indy 500] and appreciated it and I got to watch part of it when Fernando did it, which was super exciting. I love the idea of drivers being able to do more than one series.
“I have a huge amount of respect for those drivers; it’s quite scary when you approach those banks at the speed that they do. Obviously I get lots of opportunities to do those things but I have no plans to go there and do anything serious.”
Mercedes expect his contract to be extended after the 2017 campaign – while he is also eager to catch Michael Schumacher’s all-time F1 win record – but Hamilton has admitted he is starting to think about life post-F1.
“My whole life has been motor racing so it’s difficult to imagine it being out of my life I’ll obviously have more time to watch,” he added. “I probably will attend more GP races, and attend more sports that l admire – like NBA, for example.
“But in terms of racing, l don’t think l will do any racing.”
What are Hamilton’s future plans?
While Hamilton has little interest in expanding his racing repertoire, that’s not to say he hasn’t been busy and isn’t passionate about other opportunities.
Hamilton attends fashion shows, is a keen musician and has already worked with several high-profile producers – perhaps with a view to launching a career after F1.
Even when talking about his recent form on-track, whereby he has won five out of the last six races, Hamilton can’t help but mention how it correlates with his mood and interests off-track.
“I think there are a lot of positive things happening in my life,” he said at the US GP. “There are a lot of interesting things forecast over these next 18 months, so I guess that’s an exciting and uplifting thing.
“I’m arriving at these races, generally, with an abundance of positivity; it helps keeps your mind in the right place.”
So, what’s next?
“When you’re a racing driver often you’re put in a box and there’s talk of you not doing much but being a racing driver and there’s a lot more to me and I have a lot of great things that are happening,” he added.
“So, it’s just, after a lot of work, a lot of trial and error, a lot of pushback over the years, to see positive things starting to happen, things starting to move in the direction I was hoping it would eventually move – which you’ll see come to fruition in the next 12 to 18 months.
“That’s allowing me to take the pressure off and enjoy what I’m doing here, more than ever before.”