Lewis Hamilton is adamant he is "100 per cent" committed to Mercedes and that it is not in his DNA to quit despite conceding he faces "a painful year" with the team.
Hamilton and Mercedes are so far enduring a wretched season since the introduction of the current aerodynamic regulations to such an extent both the seven-time F1 title-winner and boss Toto Wolff have written off winning this year's championships.
That was the damning verdict from both men after Hamilton could only finish 14th in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix sprint race, ignominiously falling back a place from his starting grid slot.
Asked whether he remained committed to seeing out his contract with the team or if he would start to look elsewhere, Hamilton replied: "I have been at Mercedes since I was 13.
"We have had amazing times together, highs and lows together, and I am 100 per cent committed to this team and there is nowhere else I want to be.
"Just because we have hit a rough patch, it is not in my DNA to pack up. We are still world champions and we can fix this. It is just going to take longer.
"It will be a painful year that we have to ride out together. Hopefully, we can rectify it at some point in the year, or worst-case scenario, by next year."
Mercedes "feeling the pain" - Hamilton
Hamilton is naturally frustrated at the gnawing situation that Mercedes has so far been unable to find a fix for the car's instability and porpoising issues.
In terms of dealing with the frustrations, which saw him involved in a heated exchange with Wolff in the Mercedes garage after qualifying on Friday, Hamilton said:
“It’s difficult for sure, but I’m not the only one in the team.
"We’re all feeling the pain, we’re all riding this together and we win and we lose as a team, so we are doing the best we can with what we have but ultimately…
“Earlier on in the year, someone asked me, ‘What happens if you get it wrong?’ and I said ‘Well, we don’t do that. We don’t get things wrong, we are world champions’.
“The fact is that, with all the possibilities out there, we may have but what we continue to do is get our heads down, continue working and if one person is down, we rely on our team-mates to lift each other up.
“We’re nowhere near where we want to be but we’ll just keep fighting, keep working as hard as we can and just hope that eventually, we see light at the end of the tunnel.”