Five championships sounds pretty good - Hamilton targeting more F1 titles

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Lewis Hamilton believes he can win multiple world titles and continue to compete in Formula One towards his 40th birthday.

The Mercedes driver is 12 points behind leader Sebastian Vettel ahead of this weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku as he looks to win the world title for the fourth time in his career.

Hamilton's celebrity lifestyle has led to suggestions he could follow former team-mate Nico Rosberg into an early retirement, but the Briton has his sights set on securing his legacy in the sport.

"I'm 32 and I feel like I'm at a pivot point towards the older side," Hamilton said ahead of the Baku race on Sunday.

"I don't feel like I'm one of the older ones, I still feel like I'm in the prime or even on the verge of my prime. It's the pivot point, so the interesting thing is how long I can make the prime last.

"I could easily do another three-year contract if I wanted to. I reckon I could go another one after that but at least one more, easy."

"When I think about Juan Manuel Fangio, five championships sounds pretty good," Hamilton continued. "But then Vettel's only one away from five so if I get five he could easily equal that and then you've got to get six. 

"If you look at Nico he didn't want to give any more of his life to being a racing driver, but I'll always be a racing driver at heart so that's quite an easy decision.

"People ask me what's motivating you and I still want more. I feel like I have more potential and it's a constant journey to discover what that potential is. There's no real limit to what we can achieve, it's a state of mind."

Hamilton has won two of the last three races, topping the podium in Canada and Spain, but the Briton is concerned about how his Mercedes will handle on Baku's street circuit.

"These tyres don't seem to be working well at all here," Hamilton said, having set only the 10th fastest time in Friday's second practice session.

"Getting them to switch on, even at 50 degrees, it is very strange they won't work. I think we are still in the fight for pole but it is difficult."