Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has confirmed Lewis Hamilton remains firmly in control of his own destiny in Formula 1.
Hamilton recently signed a new one-year contract with Mercedes, which could result in him ending the year with a record-breaking eighth world title and becoming the first driver to score a century of grands prix victories.
Although he will again be out of contract at the end of this year, alongside team-mate Valtteri Bottas and Mercedes young driver George Russell, Wolff intimated if Hamilton wishes to remain in F1 beyond the end of the year, Mercedes will allow him to do so.
“I think this is very much Lewis’ decision," said Wolff, when asked if he felt Hamilton would close the book on his F1 career this year.
"As long as he enjoys racing, I think he is very capable of going longer. He develops as a driver, he looks after himself in terms of physical training and mental preparation, so I don’t think that, in terms of ability, that ends in 2021.
“But in the end, it is his decision."
With both Bottas and Russell also entering the final year of their deals, Wolff is aware, though, the team must start preparing for life without Hamilton.
"It's the third contract that we were discussing so it's not that we needed to start from scratch," added Wolff.
"But it's an important contract because of the season and long term how we are going to position ourselves from 2022 onwards, and how is his thinking.
“We respect that a sports person has a shelf life and that you need to optimise the outcome whilst being active."