LEWIS HAMILTON has shut down retirement rumours amid his struggles this season.
The seven-time Formula 1 world champion is sixth in the driver standings going into this weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku.
Hamilton, 37, has been hampered by issues within Mercedes' new W13 car which are yet to be fixed.
The Brit was the subject of intense retirement speculation over the off season, but hasn't been put off by the Silver Arrows' difficult start to the campaign.
Speaking to Corriere della Ser, he said: "Why should I stop?
"Let’s take this season: I probably won’t win the title, but I feel the same pleasure of competing as when I started.
"Maybe one day I won’t be able to take the pressure anymore, I’ll be tired, but that day hasn’t come yet."
Hamilton has appeared on the podium just once this season, a miraculous P3 finish in Bahrain.
Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc have dominated the front of the grid, but Hamilton hopes to be back competing with the Red Bull and Ferrari duo when the British Grand Prix rolls around in July.
He said: "I hope by the time we get to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone we will have the car as we want it – to be able to fight with Ferrari and Red Bull.
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"It would be nice if we can give them a run for their money at our home race."
The W13's porpoising issues continued last time out in Monaco, with Hamilton showing his frustration during practice by saying over the radio: "It is so bouncy out here, mate. I am f***ing losing my mind."
Despite his gripes, Hamilton accepts that engineers are working as hard as they can to fix the problem, saying: "I know that work is going on tirelessly in the factory to make progress with the car.
"And I have no doubt we will get it right sooner or later."
Hamilton's team-mate George Russell has managed to fare better in the W13 this season.
The Mercedes new boy has delivered great consistency and is the only driver to have finished in the top five of every race so far.
Russell, 24, is fourth in the driver standings – 34 points ahead of Hamilton.
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