Lewis Hamilton claims there is "something inside" driving him on to continue in F1 and race into his 40s.
Hamilton has one season remaining on what many people thought, when he signed the contract at the time in July last year, would be his last deal with Mercedes.
The seven-time F1 champion, however, has made clear he is now willing to sit down with team principal Toto Wolff over the winter and put pen to paper on an extension that is likely to take him beyond his 40th birthday in early 2025.
Explaining his reasons for doing so, in an interview with The New York Times, the 37-year-old said: “It’s not forever, but something inside is telling me, ‘You’re not done yet. You’ve got to keep pushing. You’ve got more to do, more to achieve'.
“It’s going to be hard one day, stopping racing. I’ve done it for 30 years, and it’ll be 30-plus years when I do eventually stop.
"Luckily for me, right this second, it’s not now.
“My dad and my brother, they’re like, ‘Yeah, keep racing forever,’ because they’re racers. For my mum and my sister, I can definitely sense they want me to do whatever I want to do.
“They can also see how tiring it is, that it weighs heavy on you. Sometimes when I go around to my sister’s house I just pass out on the couch.”
Hamilton putting family on hold - for now
Next season will be Hamilton's 11th with Mercedes and his 17th overall in the sport, yet his motivation and desire remain as high as ever, even if he knows that one day he will want to settle down.
“There’s no doubt that I love what I do,” added Hamilton. “I really do love the challenge every weekend, how we, as a team, show up every weekend.
“There’s a reason why I have as much energy as I do, that I’m still able to train with the intensity that I do and have the dedication that I do.
“At some stage, I will want to have a family and that will be my full focus, but right now, being in Formula 1 with Mercedes is it.”