Hamilton seems to like the idea of competing for Ferrari

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton seems to like the idea of competing for archrival Ferrari one day.

Although he is committed to winning his third Formula One title with Mercedes, and his fourth overall, Hamilton admires the Italian manufacturer.

''I've made it no secret I'm a huge fan of the team, big fan of Ferrari and what they've achieved in the history of motorsport,'' Hamilton said on Thursday at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. ''Who knows what the future holds?''

Hamilton is in a tense scrap with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, a four-time F1 champion. Vettel leads him by 12 points after seven races.

''At the moment I can't imagine myself being anywhere else but here (Mercedes),'' said Hamilton, who often speaks of his respect for Vettel's ability. ''I'm enjoying the fight we're having with Ferrari and admiring them for their strong competition.''

Victory this year would see Hamilton match Vettel and Frenchman Alain Prost with four F1 titles.

The British driver has 56 wins and is second on the list of all-time winners behind F1 great Michael Schumacher (91). With 65 pole positions Hamilton is level second with another F1 great, Ayrton Senna, and he could soon surpass Schumacher's record of 68.

''The dream for a lot of sportsmen and women is going out at the top,'' Hamilton said. ''I guess you could say a lot of people stopped before their time. At the moment I don't plan to.''

However, he is already speaking enthusiastically about life beyond F1.

''For sure there's things I look at and think: `If I had the whole year, there's so much I could achieve,''' he said. ''One of the things on my bucket list is to climb Mount Everest, which is maybe something I'll never do.''

So is another thing.

''To read 100 books,'' Hamilton said. ''It would take me the rest of my life.''

Hamilton, who lives in Monaco, also wants to learn French.

''I grew up in England where schooling wasn't very good for learning a language,'' he said. ''I don't speak any French.''