OUT OF UNIFORM: Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton (left) goes casual - as one day he will be permanently when his stellar career ends. Image: AFP / Rick Kern
AUSTIN, Texas - Lewis Hamilton, at 29 and even as he zooms in on a second championship with 10 wins under his belt, is already planning for life after Formula 1
He's 24 points ahead of team mate and second-placed Nico Rosberg with two races left in 2014 - Brazil and Abu Dhabi - a year left on his contract with Mercedes F1 and a potentially dazzling future in car racing.
He was F1 champion in 2008.
However, Hamilton told British reporters after winning Sunday's (Nov 2) US GP here that he's started thinking more about what he wants to do when he hangs up his helmet.
He gave few clues but indicated he would want to do something different.
"A lot of drivers come back and do reporting and commentary," he said, speaking at a race weekend in which at least five F1 champions were involved in some sort of media or promotional work. "I would have different plans and aspirations.
"It's positioning myself so that when I stop I have something with which to continue. There's going to be an undeniable urge to get back in the car. I've been racing since I was eight so that's going to be as natural as it was for Michael (Schumacher)."
Schumacher retired in 2006 from Ferrari as a seven-times F1 champion but returned to drive for Mercedes in 2010. A disappointing three years followed, without a win. Ferrari's 2009 F1 champion Kimi Raikkonen also returned after two years out but Hamilton said:"I hope to see a long future with this team. Nothing really needs to be changed too much."
"Mika (Hakkinen) tried to come back because it's just like a drug, you can't get away from it. At some stage when I retire... I'll have something in which I'm really interested as a substitute."
GOING SOLO ON CONTRACTS
Hamilton has ended a management arrangement with Simon Fuller's XIX Entertainment and feels he may not need a replacement.
"I feel quite comfortable doing it myself," he said when asked who would negotiate any new contract with Mercedes. "Nico did his himself, Sebastian (Vettel) did his and there's no reason why I can't do it. Whether I will, I haven't decided.
He didn't see himself returning to his father Anthony as manager.