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Lewis Hamilton returned to the podium at the Canadian Grand Prix and sees potential in his car as Mercedes battle issues with their W13 model.
Seven-time world champion Hamilton had not finished on the podium since the season-opener in Bahrain, but secured third place in Montreal behind Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz.
The Briton's struggles have largely been down to his Mercedes W13 car porpoising – otherwise known as bouncing unevenly.
Hamilton faced such difficulties at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, struggling with back problems after a painful ride in Baku that led to doubts over him featuring in the next race.
However, the 37-year-old subsequently confirmed he would compete and spoke gleefully after securing his second podium in nine attempts.
"It's quite overwhelming to get this third place – it's been such a battle this year with the car, but we continue to stay vigilant, focused and never giving up, and that's something I'm proud of," Hamilton said.
"We're getting closer, so we've got to keep pushing and keep pushing, and hopefully we'll eventually be in the fight with these guys."
Hamilton, speaking to Sky Sports after the race, thanked the team working on the car as he reflected on an emotional season.
"I want to say a big shout to the team back home, they are working so hard at the factory week in week out. It’s difficult working and not seeing any progress," he added to Sky Sports.
"It's been a difficult year for me personally and in the car. Qualifying was emotional for me and back in the garage we were like 'wow, this is beautiful for us', we have been working so hard.
"Then to have a strong race just gives me so much hope and confidence that we can move forwards.
"There is potential in this car, it's not currently where we want it to be, it's just got a really small working window and if you don't get it perfect it's all over the place.
"That's a really hard thing to navigate through, but the team did a great job this weekend."
Hamilton's fellow Mercedes team-mate George Russell maintained his run of finishing in the top five in every race this season, settling for fourth.
That saw Mercedes move to 188 points in the constructor standings, 116 behind leaders Red Bull, and Toto Wolff acknowledged his team still have much to work on.
"They were both very good and they were on different set-ups and different rear wing settings. We showed some pace today," Wolff said.
"Before the safety car came out at the end we were actually quicker than Sainz. You're picking out a few laps and saying, 'yeah we are back' but I don't think that's the case yet, we just need to keep on working.
"The way forward, we just need to develop the car in a different window than we had. We were having it really low on the ground and clearly that doesn't function.
"I think before we start looking to fix the problems, you need to understand where the issues are.
"I think we have development direction. We haven't got it right in many areas but we own the problem and we will fix it."
While Russell secured yet another top-five finish, he warned that the issues with cars porpoising is far from over.
"I had total confidence we were able to carve our way past the Haas and Alpines," he said.
"We were certainly concerned [Charles] Leclerc and Checo [Sergio Perez] would be able to come through and be fortunate to keep them behind us.
"Ultimately, our race pace was closer to Ferrari and Red Bull than we've seen all season, but the inherent performance isn't there yet.
"It was a shame I couldn't get the tyres going at the end, probably would have liked to pit before the first safety car, and then have been in the fight at the end.
"Nevertheless, P4, it's good points for the team and great to be back on the podium for the team.
"It was definitely bumpy out there, down the straight the car was just hitting the ground. It'll be a good sleep again tonight for sure.
"I think there are so many different factors [with the porpoising], this global issue with the 2022 cars is far from over."