Lewis Hamilton says he can “definitely” race in Formula 1 for another five years as he sets his sights on Michael Schumacher’s all-time records.

The five-time world champion has won four of the last six drivers’ world titles since his switch from McLaren to Mercedes in 2013 and currently leads the 2019 standings by 17 points after the opening six rounds.

Speaking to US chat show host David Letterman during the winter for an episode of Letterman’s latest Netflix series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, Hamilton said he is “ridiculously determined” to ensure he does not waste the opportunities he has.

“Michael retired when he was 38. I’m 33, so in my mind I can definitely do five [more] years,” Hamilton said. “I am ridiculously determined to win.

“What really drives me, and I feel that somewhat the people I am racing may lack, is that fire. I’ve got this opportunity, I could easily let go of it right now, but I feel like I would be squandering it if I didn’t continue to improve, grow and push.

“So I’ve got to keep going for as long as I can until I’m not enjoying it.”

A sixth world championship this year would move Hamilton to within one title of matching Schumacher’s all-time record, while he is also edging closer to the German’s tally of 91 wins after claiming his 77th victory in Monaco, having already surpassed his number of pole positions.

“It’s a hard, hard year, mentally,” Hamilton added. “You have these massive highs of wins and success, and these massive comedowns.

“It’s something I’ve never really spoken but you do often suffer from mental issues and instabilities. Keeping that together when you hit rock-bottom, which you do as an athlete.

“If you are lucky you can find strength still at rock-bottom. It’s about how you get up, not how you fall.”

 

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