Lewis Hamilton made clear that he "never, ever said" he was going to stop racing as he officially confirmed that he will be back on the F1 grid in 2022.
After going silent on his social media channels in the wake of last year's controversial F1 season finale in Abu Dhabi, rumours gathered pace that the seven-time World Champion could step away from the sport.
However, having recently emerged and returned to the Mercedes factory for pre-season preparations, Hamilton says he is ready to "attack" the new season and F1's overhauled technical regulations.
Hamilton confirms F1 stay for 2022
Asked about the recent uncertainty over his future at the launch of Mercedes' 2022 car, the W13, Hamilton explained how he processed Abu Dhabi over the winter break and touched on his current mindset.
"I never, ever said I was going to stop," Hamilton stressed.
"I love doing what I do and it is such a privilege working with this large group of people. It really feels like you're part of a family, part of a team and working towards that common goal – there's no feeling quite like it.
"It was obviously a difficult time for me, a time where I really needed to take a step back, focus on being present.
"I had my family around me, creating great moments, and I eventually got to a point when I decided I was going to be attacking again coming into another season, working with Toto [Wolff] and George [Russell].
"It is exciting seeing George coming in and bringing his energy; I can already feel that throughout the team. I think it's going to be an exciting season."
What are Hamilton's goals for 2022?
As for his targets in 2022, Hamilton refrained from revealing personal goals, but stated that everyone at Mercedes is focused on stretching the team's record-setting run of Constructors' world titles to nine.
"Going into this year, I haven't really set any goals," said Hamilton.
"I think every single individual within this team has worked towards the ultimate goal of winning the World Championship.
"Again, [it's about] raising the bar and doing something that no one else has ever done before. We've done eight, now we've got to move on to the next one."
Video: Are Mercedes playing it safe with the W13 reveal?
Mercedes showed off two different versions of the W13 during their 2022 car launch, with some key differences between the digital and physical models.