Contrary to current speculation, disgruntled Formula One star Lewis Hamilton suggested that he will indeed sign a new contract with McLaren, but only if the team gives him more time off.
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Ahead of Sunday’s British Grand Prix, and at the end of a week that saw the 2008 world champion hard at work promoting the Silverstone race, Hamilton let it be known that he was in danger of burnout.
"You have to make changes," the British driver said after Saturday’s miserable qualification session.
Hamilton clocked in a disappointing 10th at his home track after McLaren sent him out on used soft tires in the final session, before a sudden shower left him unable to improve his time.
"When I re-sign the contract with McLaren, they are going to be shocked at how many days they are not going to be able to make me do," he said. "I will be doing a lot less work. I definitely won’t be doing the whole period of time before the Silverstone Grand Prix, that’s for sure. I will have at least five days to prepare in the future."
Hamilton said that his team commitments left him disadvantaged in comparison to the rest of the grid.
"I have just come from the last race, and I have had a day or two off, and I am certain if you look down the paddock, there won’t be many other drivers that have done what I have been doing over the last two weeks. I am excited for the break," Hamilton added, in reference to F1’s summer recess after the Hungarian Grand Prix later this month.
The 26-year-old driver also said that he felt older and "definitely" faced a risk of burnout.
Hamilton has been linked with a move to current pacesetter Red Bull, although team principal Christian Horner said earlier this week that pairing him with defending world champion Sebastian Vettel would not work.