Hamilton’s current deal with Mercedes expires at the end of this season and, despite negotiations for an extension rumbling on for months, it still hasn’t been signed.

But at the F1 Dutch Grand Prix, where Hamilton dreams of ending Red Bull’s winning streak on Max Verstappen’s home turf, he gave a blunt update over his contract talks.

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“I’m staying where I am,” he said.

“It just takes time. We just had this break, as well. In this break, no-one has been thinking about it. Hopefully it will be done soon.”

A reporter asked: “What is missing?”

Hamilton replied: “I can’t tell you. There’s always something missing.”

Sky F1’s David Croft assessed the situation: “Hamilton could retire now and live comfortably for the rest of his life, knowing he would leave this sport as one of the greatest drivers, if not the greatest driver, that we’ve ever seen.

“If he’s talking about staying at Mercedes, I think the belief is there.

“I don’t think the trust has ever disappeared, I don’t think the belief has ever disappeared, between Lewis and the team.

“Why would it, given what they’ve given him since 2013?

“Things aren’t signed but there’s no discord, no problem that’s stopping him signing.

He’s not going to go anywhere else, I don’t the seats are there to give him a world championship crack.

“So staying at Mercedes is his No1 option because that will give him the best chance. He can’t get a seat at Red Bull because Checo Perez is staying alongside Max Verstappen.

“I’m glad he’s saying that he’s going to stay, because nobody who’s a fan of Formula 1 wants to see Hamilton retire just yet.”

Rumours of a big-money offer from Ferrari have been dismissed by both the Italian manufacturer and Hamilton.

And reports that Hamilton's demand for a 10-year post-racing role was scuppering a new agreement have previously been rejected by Toto Wolff.