Hamilton in no rush to re-sign
Lewis Hamilton has given his clearest hint yet that he intends to sign a new contract with McLaren.
But he has reiterated, once again, that he is in no rush to put pen to paper.
Hamilton's current five-year McLaren deal expires at the end of this year and his future became a frequent topic of last season when his apparent frustration seemingly threatened to boil over into a divorce from the team he has spent the entirety of his motor-racing career with.
A sortie into the Red Bull hospitality tent at Montreal signalled the nadir of Hamilton's apparent discontent and provoked a cacophony of speculation that the 2008 World Champion could jump ship.
But, speaking in Shanghai on Sunday night after his third successive podium finish, Hamilton sounded like a man who once again feels at home inside the McLaren enclave.
"Everything is better this year," Hamilton told The Daily Telegraph. "The team is better, the car is better, I am a lot better and I have got my dad here.
"And that is not fake. We have a really good bond now. We are on the up. Things are great and that's reflected in my performances.
"I am definitely consistent this year - consistently third. But I am happy, given the way we have quite a few points and are still in the fight."
Yet, though happier, Hamilton is still not yet ready to follow the lead of Jenson Button, who signed a contract extension at the end of 2011, and commit his future to the team that has both nurtured and championed his F1 career.
"It is not about being persuaded, I don't need persuading. When I need to, which can be within any time frame I want so long as it is before next year, I will decide about my future," he added.