Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton’s future will be a continuing source of intrigue in 2021 as he ended 2020 without having renewed his deal with Mercedes, and only did so in February — signing a new contract for just one year. One can say that winning the next World Championship will be the deciding factor of his future.

However, according to Outlook, Hamilton says winning a record eighth World Championship title will not be the key to whether he decides to stay in Formula 1 beyond this season.

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On Tuesday’s launch of Mercedes’ new W12 car, the Briton spoke about his aims away from the track – and insisted that surpassing Michael Schumacher’s title record would not be the only issue at play when it came to making a call about ending or extending his stay in the sport.

“I’m kind of in a fortunate position where I’ve achieved most of the stuff I wanted to achieve up until this point, so there’s no real need necessarily to plan too far ahead in the future,” Hamilton said at the launch of Mercedes’ new W12 car.

“I’m fully invested in this season and delivering. I still love what I do.

“We’re living through an unusual period of time in life and I just wanted one year. Then we can talk about if we do more, and keep adding it [by] one if we have to.

“I chose to have a one-year deal, so I can see where we are at. It doesn’t mean I’m not committed.

“What I’m really focused on – there was a lot of discussion around the diversity issue, what is important is that we are delivering.”

Hamilton added: “I’m really proud of my team, I’m already seeing steps to see that progress. That’s my driving force to make sure we continue to push for accountability.

“The main priority for 2021 – in the past it was about just winning championships. But now it’s really pushing for making real change.”

The 2021 season is scheduled to get under way with the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 28.

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