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Hamilton not regretting future move to Ferrari after 1st podium of his final year with Mercedes

MONTMELÓ, Spain (AP) — Lewis Hamilton is not regretting his move to Ferrari next year despite Mercedes having gotten the edge on its Italian rivals.

Hamilton, who is joining Ferrari in 2025 after 12 years with Mercedes, returned to the podium for the first time this season with a third-place finish at the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.

His improved performance included beating out Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, who finished fifth and sixth respectively. The British driver twice overtook Sainz, the Spaniard he is set to replace at Ferrari.

But would Mercedes apparently being on the up while Ferrari is showing signs of slipping make Hamilton rue the decision to switch teams?

No, he said, not for a moment.

“Firstly, I love Mercedes. And my job this year is to work as hard as I can with the crew that I have and the people back (at) the factory to try and move in the right direction,” Hamilton said.

“My job will start next year with the other team, who I think are doing a great job. I can’t tell you what is wrong with that car and why they are the position they are in today. (...) But it doesn’t make me second-guess my decision at all.”

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen won the race ahead of Lando Norris with Hamilton right behind. That was the seven-time Formula One champion’s best result since finishing third at the Mexican GP in October last year.

Hamilton added to his record with 18 consecutive seasons with a podium finish.

In Barcelona, Hamilton also outscored teammate George Russell, who was fourth, for just the third time this season.

Hamilton's record-extending 103rd win came at Saudi Arabia in 2021. He has not won a race since and Verstappen has dethroned him as the dominant driver in F1.

Hamilton said that his goal is have the best possible final finish with Mercedes before joining Ferrari, where the 39-year-old will start a new phase of his outstanding career.

“It would be nice (to win again with Mercedes)," he said. "I think, considering where we’ve come from, just having consistency and seeing if we can put the team further up in the points, I think that’s got to be the target.”

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Joseph Wilson, The Associated Press