Kimi Raikkonen has moved to quell rumours that he is considering retirement, claiming that the suggestion is the invention of the media keen to find a story.
The Finn has appeared lacklustre at times this season, his first as reigning world champion, and has admitted that he will not go on racing forever, but denies that he has actually discussed retiring either at the end of his current Ferrari contract or, earlier still, at the end of this year.
"I never said anything like that," he told journalists after a late arrival at Thursday's press conference in Budapest, "I only said that I have a contract until the end of next year and then somebody made up that I will stop at the end of this year or the end of next year, but I never said that.
"I'm still enjoying F1 but, like I said, there are a lot of other things in life. But I'm enjoying this. I have a great time, I have a great time with [the team]. Of course, it would be better if we could do a little bit better right now, but that's racing and, for sure, we will get where we want.
"[My motivation] hasn't disappeared anywhere but, of course, it's not nice when it's not going so well. But it's not the first time. We just keep pushing and, at some point, it starts going better again."
Speculation about Raikkonen's future intensified after Ferrari was beaten by McLaren in both the British and German grands prix, allowing Lewis Hamilton - who won both races - to open out a seven-point lead over the Finn in the championship standings.
"For sure, they've been very fast in the last races and we haven't really been exactly doing so well," the world champion, "There are many races to go, but [Hamilton] has a little gap over us, so it's not easy to catch up, especially if we don't start winning, it will be pretty difficult [but], hopefully, we can catch up.
"In Germany, we definitely didn't have the speed that we were hoping for, but then there were many other people who didn't either. We will see this weekend. You can always think that, from the testing, we found something - or at least we should understand better what our position is - but racing is a different place and, hopefully, we will do better here.
"We spent the whole test [trying to find reasons for the lack of pace in Germany], that's why we went there. We tried to more or less understand if we have done something wrong, taken a wrong direction. We tried many, many things and we at least know where we had a problem, or if we had a problem or not. I think we have a clearer picture than before."