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Thursday 2 November at 07:35
Vettel 'not afraid of Hamilton'
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Thursday 2 November at 07:35 : Nov.2 (GMM) Sebastian Vettel is already setting his sights on stopping Lewis Hamilton from winning yet another title in 2018.

In Mexico, Mercedes' Hamilton matched Vettel's career tally by securing his fourth drivers' crown.

"Only very few athletes on the planet have four world championship titles in their pockets, so that must be honoured," Ferrari driver Vettel told Sport Bild.

"Looking at the season, Lewis was the better man and that's why he earned the title."

And now, Briton Hamilton is already setting his sights on number five.

Vettel said: "You never know what will happen in the future. But next season I will do my utmost to keep Lewis from getting the fifth title.

"2017 was his year but 2018 is another story," the German added. "Then everything starts again from zero.

"As Ferrari, we are on the right track and I firmly believe that we can be at the front in 2018."

That is despite the fact that most insiders agree that Hamilton is in almost scarily good form.

But Vettel insisted: "I am not afraid of Lewis.

"On the contrary, I like racing against him. Because if you win against a Lewis Hamilton, you're proud because you know that the level he drives at is extremely high."

Vettel also believes Ferrari is up to the challenge of taking on not only Mercedes next year, but also Red Bull.

"We have to get even better, and we will," he declared. "After all, we know we're not fighting against Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck."
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14-05 Vettel concerned after Barcelona tyre struggle
30-04 Vettel upbeat despite losing title lead
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NEXT RACE 26 March 2017
Grand Prix of Australia (5,303 m)
Melbourne, Albert Park Circuit
Last Winner: Nico Rosberg
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Friday - practice 1

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STANDINGS 2016
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1.Vettel171
2.Hamilton163
3.Raikkonen116
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1.Ferrari287
2.Mercedes267
3.Red Bull199
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