Lewis Hamilton has revealed the thought of retiring from F1 has "come in waves" over the last few years.
The Mercedes driver became the first in the history of the sport to reach 100 grand prix victories with his Russian Grand Prix win on Sunday to open up a slender two-point lead in his quest for a record-breaking eighth title.
This season has been the most challenging Hamilton has faced since his battle with former team-mate Nico Rosberg in 2016 as Max Verstappen and Red Bull have applied considerable pressure.
Asked by Sky Italia if he ever felt the urge to quit with so much success under his belt, Hamilton replied: "That thought often happens to me. It comes in waves.
"There are definitely plenty of times I've had over the last four or five years that I've been like ' don't know if I want to keep giving or sacrificing, the training, at the expense of my personal life'.
"There are other things I'd like to do. Normal stuff I want to do, but then on the other side, I'm like 'Wow! I'm so fortunate I get to do this job'.
"In the bigger scheme of things, it's a little bit of your life. There is a long, long time retired. I'm trying to find a good balance.
"I'm like, if I'm still hungry, I can still train myself like I did as a kid, as I do now, and still achieve great results, if I'm still hungry...if I start getting slower and I can't be bothered to train and I'm not as driven then I know that's when I need to stop."
Hamilton "There are exceptional talents in the new generation"
"There are exceptional talents in the new generation," he said.
"Yes, I am much older ... They are not afraid of anything, I am in great shape, I like to watch them drive, I hope that I will still be able to deserve my place here, to be able to respond to them in the most effective way possible.
"I am focused on this."
What do you think?
I have often said that Hamilton is a 36 year old in a 26 year old body and that is why he relishes the prospects of competing against these youngsters. The day he no longer feels younger than his chronological age, he will stop. I would personally like to see him go out at 44, the same number as his car.
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