MONTMELÓ: Lewis Hamilton hinted on Sunday that he may be poised to sign a new contract with Mercedes within days.

The seven-time world champion, who finished second for Mercedes behind defending world champion Max Verstappen in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix, said he expected to meet team boss Toto Wolff on Monday.

“I haven’t signed anything yet, but I think we are meeting with Toto tomorrow so hopefully we can get something done,“ said Hamilton, whose current deal expires this year, in a post-race news conference.

Asked to explain if the meeting was potentially decisive, he added: “It wasn’t a subtle hint. We’ve had so many meetings -- and this is just another one of the meetings we are having.

“You can see from my performance today that I am not affected by that, but it is always there at the back of your mind.

“Once it’s done then you are able to focus more and to think about the future and I’m working as hard as I can with this team...

“I see so much strength within the team. They are still so hungry. The podium today was really, really special.

“To be able to see the excitement in all the people that have worked for such a long time....

“When we go back right now, there will be great energy in the office. These guys take two seconds to enjoy themselves and be happy -- and then they’ll be back down into the books and trying to figure out how we can win the next race.”

He added that he was hoping not only for continuing developments of their car that might help the team compete this year, against Red Bull, but more importantly begin work now to create a challenger that can succeed in 2024.

“That’s where we need to be going,“ he said. “Max will win and win again this year, but we need to focus on next year and being able to, at least, compete and race against him.

“Personally, for me, I am feeling fit and healthy and I think that was a very solid race for me today.

“And I want to keep going for as long as I can, but I want to be where Max is -- or racing him, at least. I’m super, super-focused on getting to that point.

“There’s a long way to go, but there’s time...”

Hamilton, who has won six of his seven titles with Mercedes since joining them in 2013, was linked with a move to Ferrari last month (May), but both the Italian team and the Briton distanced themselves from the speculation.

On Sunday, he added: “I’m really happy with where I am in my life. I think I’ve got all the ducks in a row where I am able to really focus.

“I’ve got a great, great, great team around me both off track and on track. There’s great stuff that’s happening with Mission 44 -- I’ve got a great team in London working on that -- and I’m starting to see the impact.

“I’ve got a great team of engineers here. I’ve been with Bono [Mercedes senior race engineer Pete Bonnington] for a long time. And what Bono and Mike [Elliot, Mercedes chief technical officer] and all the guys here are doing is such a fantastic job.” -AFP