Beating Vettel special for Hamilton

29 November 2017 12:08:11 EST

Lewis Hamilton says that defeating four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel 'at his best' this season was a magical achievement for him.

The Mercedes driver equalled Vettel's tally of four drivers' titles, while the team repelled a resurgent Ferrari to win the constructors' championship gong.

Hamilton, world champion in three of the last four years, says that beating Vettel was a big statement and he believes Mercedes 'raised the bar this season'.

In terms of the number of titles, Sebastian is the one everyone would be targeting.

Lewis Hamilton

"Naturally you want to compete against the best," said Hamilton at an event for Mercedes title sponsor Petronas in Kuala Lumpur.

"Everyone has an opinion who's the best but, at least in terms of the number of titles, Sebastian is the one everyone would be targeting.

"So to beat him at his best this year - I think he was performing exceptionally well - and to also have Ferrari who were really delivering some fantastic performances, for us to come out on top really shows the strength in depth and the sheer raising of the bar that we were able to do this year."

It is a month since Hamilton was crowned world champion for the fourth time and he admits it has not completely sunk in as yet what he has now achieved in Formula 1.

"Honestly I don't know because it's not [sunk in] yet. When you do days like this you get great responses from people," he added.

"Just arriving here this morning in Malaysia and being at the Twin Towers and having a crazy reception from some of the Petronas employees, but also some of the normal fans, those things help you come to the realisation of what you've achieved."

Hamilton is 1/500 to be drivers' champion again in 2018, with Vettel 50/1 and Hamilton's Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas 2000/1.

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