Lewis Hamilton is eager to settle his future with McLaren early in the Formula 1 season so that speculation about his plans does not overshadow what he hopes is a championship-contending campaign.
The Briton's contract with the team expires at the end of this year and, while it is likely he will remain at McLaren, there have been frequent rumors about a potential switch to Red Bull Racing ever since he held a secret meeting with Christian Horner at last year's Canadian Grand Prix. Although nothing has yet been finalized, Hamilton has indicated that he will sit down with his McLaren bosses after the first few races to decide on an action plan for the future.
"At the moment, the focus is on the preparation we have coming up for the season," he told reporters. "After the first couple of races it's something we will probably want to get out of the way. We can then focus on the rest of the year without the team being concerned and without it being something hanging around, so then you guys [media] won't have to ask questions about it. So, I'll try to get that out of the way at some stage, probably in the earlier part of the year rather than later."
Hamilton returned to the public spotlight at the 2012 McLaren launch on Wednesday following a difficult end to last season, dogged with on-track frustrations and difficulties in his personal life. Hamilton reckoned he was going to be much stronger this year.
"I want to win every race," he declared. "I think I can – I think I've the ability to. If the car is where we hope, there's no reason why we can't do that.
"The only thing that ever gets in your way is your own mind, and your own insecurities or obstacles that you put in your way. The most important thing is to put those things aside and to overcome them, and I think I have.
"So I feel right. Standing right in front of you I feel stronger than I was a few months ago particularly, but even more so than I was last year at the start of the year."