Lewis Hamilton wants to settle his Formula 1 future with McLaren over the sport's upcoming "summer break," because he feels that would be the best time to make the most sensible decision. The Briton had said as recently as the Canadian Grand Prix that he could wait until the winter to decide, but has now changed his mind.
Ahead of what will be a key decision for his future, with his contract running out later this year, Hamilton insists that current frustrations with the competitiveness of his McLaren team would not play the decisive factor in what he does – although he admits that the priority is to keep on winning.
With options at Red Bull Racing and Ferrari appearing to have closed, Hamilton's main options for 2013 appear to be recommitting to McLaren or moving to Mercedes, if the works squad is left searching for another driver should Michael Schumacher elect not to continue.
In an exclusive interview with the Russian news agency R-Sport in Moscow at the weekend, where he was participating in an F1 street demonstration, Hamilton said that talks with McLaren would open soon.
"We haven't sat down and discussed anything yet but I'm sure over the summer break, when we have the summer break, it would be nice to get something in place," he said. "That would be a time when we can be more relaxed and make the most sensible decision for the future."
When asked about the factors that would influence his decision, Hamilton said: "To be honest, you have to base your decisions on much, much longer than such a short period of time. Only half a year cannot decide six years of partnership, or actually 13 years of partnership. I've been with them since I was 13, so it's 14 years, so it's much more than these small details – it's a much, much bigger picture."
He added: "There are lots of things to take into account. These people have supported me; these are the people that got me into Formula 1. But, you know, I want to win. I'm not that young anymore, so I want to make sure that whatever I do, I make the right decision so I can maximize my career, you know.
"I just need to make sure that I'm winning. That's what I exist for; that's what I train and work for every day."
Looking at this season, Hamilton says he still sees plenty of opportunity for success, and pinned his hopes on upgrades due to be arriving for this weekend's German GP.
"I've been ready all year to win. We should have won a lot more races than we have, but there are many more races to go. We still have a lot more chances to get some wins and I think it's possible.
"Up until now we've not developed as fast as other people. Other people have brought some more upgrades in the past than we have, but we have a big upgrade coming for the next race, so let's hope that it does the job and gets us in a fighting position."