Lewis Hamilton says he does not believe he will stay in Formula 1 long enough to beat Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles.
Hamilton won his fourth title this year to move within one of Juan Manuel Fangio, but said he was not motivated by the idea of surpassing Schumacher.
The Mercedes driver said: “I can’t see it at the moment. Four more. It has taken me 10 years to achieve this four.
“I don’t have that desire to match it. Matching Fangio could be quite cool.”
Argentine Fangio won five world titles in the 1950s, and is second to Schumacher – champion in 1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 – in the all-time championship standings.
In terms of successes for the number of races in which he competed, Fangio is the most successful driver ever in championships, wins and pole positions.
“Being that I am going to be here for at least another couple of years, that is my goal to try and at least get that,” Hamilton said, implying strongly that a new Mercedes contract to take him beyond the end of his current deal, which expires next year, was an inevitability.
Speaking at the official FIA prize-giving ceremony, where he will be presented with his trophy, Hamilton said: “When I am older and look back, I don’t think the amount of titles I have is going to define what I am as a driver or who I am.
“How I work with the team, how I drive the car, every time I drive the car and extract it from the car – that’s what I feel inside defines me.
“When I was young I thought I would have a family at 28. When I got to 28 it all shifted. But it is difficult to say never.
“Maybe in a couple of years ‘ time I will be saying: ‘I am going to go another 10 years.’ I really hope that’s not the case because I’ll be with you guys until you are in Zimmer frames.”