Lewis Hamilton has admitted that it would feel "abnormal" to race in Formula 1 for a team other than McLaren, in a firm hint that he was leaning toward extending his contract.
The 2008 World Champion's future has been in doubt all season, as he is in the final year of his current deal. Hamilton has been linked to most of the top teams on the grid, but ahead of the German Grand Prix he strongly intimated that staying at McLaren is his preferred choice.
"I have a lot of faith in this team, we're like a family," Hamilton told reporters in the Hockenheim paddock. "Anything different would feel very abnormal.
"For me, when you are in a position like this for the first time, you have to do due diligence and you have to make sure that you look at the whole grid. You have to look at all your options and know all your plans, and not rush into things. Some of the worst decisions are generally the ones that are rushed."
Hamilton added that he hopes that he can still be at McLaren the next time the Woking squad hits one of its successful patches.
"It's been a tough 10-15 years for this team," he added. "So I'm looking and waiting for that period to come where they have their highest point. They had it with Mika [Hakkinen] in the late '90s, and I hope that at some stage it's our turn.
"I definitely feel that I can do it, and I'm constantly boosted by the team when I go back and see how hard they are pushing. This team never gives up, I never do, and hopefully at some stage we will be rewarded for that."
When asked if the missed opportunities in races this year have caused his faith in McLaren to slip, Hamilton dismissed such suggestions.
"I don't think so," he said. "They come back all the time. The support I have had at this team, not many people get to see it. From Ron [Dennis], from Norbert [Haug, Mercedes motorsports boss], from Martin [Whitmarsh]. Going through good times and bad times, they stay with you. True, loyal people. So I don't take that for granted."