The seven-time world champion cast doubt over his future before the start of the season when he only committed to signing a one-year contract extension.

However, Hamilton has since said he “plans” to remain in the sport for at least another year after helping Pirelli conduct a recent tyre test for its new 18-inch wheels that will be introduced in 2022.

And after beating title rival Max Verstappen to claim his third victory from the opening four races of the 2021 F1 season in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix, Hamilton revealed he wanted to have a “clear picture of the future” by the summer.

“Naturally we don’t have to rush anything but I think we have to be sensible and start conversations,” Hamilton said.

“They’re very complex, it’s never a super simple procedure and so hopefully soon we can start, as long as it doesn’t interfere the actual job.

"We still have 19 races to do but it would be great to get something in place before the break so then we could be in that break and have a clear picture of the future.”

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Both Hamilton and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff have made it clear they wish to avoid a repeat of the drawn-out saga of last season.

Negotiations hit repeated delays towards the back-end of last year and dragged on until February, a situation that was not helped by Hamilton and Wolff both contracting COVID-19.

“We never want to be in the position that we were in in January, in February,” the Briton added.

“It ruined my whole winter and I’m sure it wasn’t helpful for Toto’s, in terms of being out to be off and relaxed - so it felt like we didn’t really have much of a break.”

Hamilton, who has been energised by a fierce title battle against Red Bull, currently holds a 14-point advantage over Verstappen in his quest to claim a record-breaking eighth world championship this year. 

“There’s still some life in this old dog!” Hamilton said. “I would say I’m more conscious than ever about my body, about my training regime.

“I’ve been training myself for a long time now but constantly growing and learning how to look after, naturally, the vessel that I’m given and feeling great.”