Lewis Hamilton says he could decide to turn his back on Formula One at the end of the season and can understand why Nico Rosberg retired.
Hamilton is contracted to Mercedes until the end of next year, but is making no assurances that he will honour the deal.
The three-time world champion's former team-mate Rosberg stunningly called time on his F1 career after winning his first title last year and Hamilton has not ruled out following suit.
He told the FIA's official in-house magazine, Auto: "My destiny is in my own hands. I can decide to stop at the end of this year.
"Does that mean my legacy is less great than it would be if I stop in five years' time? Who's to say? I don't like to plan for it because I don't know what's around the corner, I don't know what I'm going to do.
"Whatever I know I'm going to do, if I apply myself the way I've always applied myself in my racing and I apply it to anything else I want to do in life, or even if it's still in racing, I feel I can achieve great things.
"I'm never going to stop pushing the limits of whatever it is I do with myself and I'm always going to strive for greatness in whatever world it is that I'm in. So I think that mission or that mentality will create my legacy."
The Brit stated that he can appreciate why Rosberg opted to quit following his success in 2016.
"I can empathise, and really understand in some ways, the feeling of wanting to stop and do something different," he added.
"Every now and then I have a thought of what I will do after Formula One. Then I see that car and I am like, 'I think I am going to stay'. I don't know how long I will stay, but I am still competitive, still hungry and still driving at my best."