Sebastian Vettel has revealed why he loves beating Lewis Hamilton so much and insisted that he isn’t afraid of the four-time Drivers’ Champion.
The Ferrari man said that he enjoyed beating Hamilton because the Brit was such a formidable opponent.
“If you win against a Lewis Hamilton you’re proud because you know that the level he drives at is extremely high,” he said.
This comes just as the dust settles on Hamilton’s fourth world championship victory, which he secured at the weekend during the Mexican Grand Prix.
Hamilton ended the race in ninth place, but because rival Vettel could only manage a fourth placed finish, the title was mathematically secured for the Brit.
Their rivalry is perhaps not quite as intense as Hamilton’s run-ins with former teammates Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso, but the duo have often been competing against one another until the very end of each season and together they have shared the seven out of the previous eight world championships.
The German, who has four world title wins himself, also insisted that he wasn’t afraid of Hamilton and even went as far as to say he enjoyed racing against him.
“I’m not afraid of Lewis,” he told German newspaper Sports Bild.
“On the contrary, I like racing against him.
“Only very few athletes on the planet have four world championship titles in their pockets, so that must be honoured.”
Vettel went on to say that Hamilton had deserved his 2017 crown, but that he would do all he could to prevent the Mercedes driver from winning a fifth world title next year, after stating that Ferrari “have to get better”.
“Looking at the season, Lewis was the better man and that’s why he earned the title.
“You never know what will happen in the future. But next year I will do my utmost to keep Lewis from getting the fifth title.
“2017 was his year, but 2018 is another story. Then everything starts again from zero.
“As Ferrari, we are right on track and I firmly believe we can be at the front in 2018.
“We have to get even better and we will.”