Five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton wants to continue racing in Formula 1 beyond 2021 to become a “pioneer” of the sport’s next generation of regulations.

Hamilton, who can clinch his sixth drivers’ title at this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, gave his clearest indication yet that he wants to extend his spell in F1 beyond the end of his current contract, which expires at the end of 2020.

F1 presented its vision for 2021 and beyond as it revealed its long-awaited technical and sporting regulations for the post-2020 era.

“I always love a challenge,” Hamiltons said when asked for his views on the 2021 regulation overhaul.

“This team [Mercedes] has shown that they are better prepared and in the best position to be able to react to rule changes, so I know the team is approaching the challenge in an exciting way.

“I think as drivers I think there were certain things we’ve heard, not necessarily all the decisions taken where what we thought was best for example the cars are heavier and will get slower.

“But I think it’s going to be an interesting time. I’m planning to be here so naturally at some point next year my mindset will be to switch into 2021 and wanting to be the pioneer in that era.”

Cars are set to be heavier in 2021 and could be around 3-3.5s per lap slower than the current generation.

Hamilton has raised concerns with the significant increase in car weight in recent years and reckons further weight will only add to the challenge faced by F1 tyre supplier Pirelli.

“It will be interesting to see how it is,” he added.

“The cars are already getting heavier and heavier I just hope they don’t keep adding weight, which it looks like they will.

“It just slows the cars down, makes the tyres harder, the tyres are a huge element. We are struggling to follow and then the tyres overheat because the cars are too heavy and they are pushing it more in that direction.

“I think it just makes Pirelli’s job even harder into 2021. I think what’s really important is the target letter, and they’ve never had a good target letter in terms of what to deliver in the tyres.

"So the GPDA is working closely with the FIA to make sure that the target is better. I don’t know who wrote it last time but it was terrible, well it wasn’t great.

“So hopefully they’ll be able to get a better target letter which is more in the direction to help us race better.”

 

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