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    • Lewis Hamilton has been in contract talks with Mercedes for over a year
    • His current deal with the Silver Arrows runs out at the end of this season
    • The Briton is on course to land a record equalling seventh world title
    • Mercedes are likely to represent his only option to break the record in 2021 

    Lewis Hamilton has hinted he is prepared to pen a new deal to stay at Mercedes which could enable him a chance to break Michael Schumacher’s record of eight world championships. 

    The six-time champion’s deal with current team Mercedes, who he has been with since 2013, comes to an end this year but talks have lingered over the summer amid uncertainty in either side’s future in Formula One.

    Hamilton, who is set to all but win this season’s championship within the final five races this term having broken Schumacher’s 91 race wins record at Sunday’s Portuguese Grand Prix, though now claims he wants to be on the grid next year.

    Lewis Hamilton is hoping to extend his stay at Mercedes beyond the end of the 2020 season which will all but certainly land him a seventh world championship

    With no other realistic alternatives to help him win world titles on the grid, he is edging towards extending his stay at a Silver Arrows where he has won the championship every year bar 2016 since 2014.

    ‘I definitely don’t think it’s over,’ he told Sky Sports. ‘I want to continue. I think once we get the job done and the stress of the bubble and everything passes on, we can get to whatever comfortable or uncomfortable position we need to be in and we’ll get it done so we can continue.’

    ‘I still want to continue to race but I don’t know how much longer it will be. It’s definitely not going to be a long time before I stop, so this is a period of time where I’ve got to slowly work out what the future holds.

    Hamilton's broke the record for most F1 wins at the Portuguese Grand Prix on Sunday and hopes he can stay with his current Mercedes team for at least the 2021 season

    Hamilton’s broke the record for most F1 wins at the Portuguese Grand Prix on Sunday and hopes he can stay with his current Mercedes team for at least the 2021 season

    ‘It’s bright, whatever I decide to do, but it also has to be aligned with the times, it has to be aligned with my values and it has to be aligned with what the team is planning to do. All I can say is that I plan to be here next year.’

    The 35-year-old admits talks over a new deal have been ongoing for over a year, but that the coronavirus pandemic effectively meant any progress made reset the process back to the start.

    He also added with the benefit of hindsight he would have committed to signing a new contract much earlier before the Covid-19 outbreak. 

    ‘Naturally I think already last year, in Hungary last year I think Toto [Wolff] was talking about signing a contract,’ said Hamilton.

    Hamilton admitted he has been discussing a new deal with boss Toto Wolff (above) since 2019

    Hamilton admitted he has been discussing a new deal with boss Toto Wolff (above) since 2019

    ‘Of course the pandemic wasn’t then and you look back and you’re like maybe I should have signed it then. But the thing is I just think things happen at the right time and I definitely wasn’t ready mentally at the time.

    Hamilton is also facing a race against the clock to sign what is a proposed £40million-a-year deal after plans to cap driver salaries were approved unanimously by the teams.

    Sportsmail understands a proposal to limit the pay packets of the sport’s biggest stars to £22m ($30m) was even backed by Wolff. The cost-saving measure will start in 2023. 

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