Lewis Hamilton claims the fight with Sebastian Vettel and preventing the German from matching his newly attained records act as "inspiration" for him to continue in Formula 1.
The Briton is entering the final year of his current contract with Mercedes in 2018 and, despite regular rumours about retirement, is expected to sign on with the German manufacturer until the end of 2020 with talks ongoing.
This year marked the first time the two most successful drivers of their generation locked horns for the title and, after successfully beating Vettel to join him as a four-time champion, the 32-year-old now wants to stay ahead.
"It’s kind of cool to be in this battle with him," Hamilton said. "He got 50 poles in Mexico and I’m like, I don’t want to give him any more poles because he gets closer to me. That’s inspiration to keep pushing.
"The same with wins, same with championships and so then I see him sign for another three years with Ferrari and we’re going to make it as hard as it can possibly be for them to win championships but I really am looking forward to that battle with them."
The now 10-year veteran of the sport also enjoyed the fresh competition from the Scuderia and hopes it will grow to include the final of the top three teams from next year.
"They’ve been such a great team this year, it’s been great to see Ferrari back on form and as I said, I really hope others join that battle," Lewis stated. "Red Bull have been great, Max [Verstappen], he’s really the brightest young star that we’ve seen for some time and I hope that in his early era that I can be a good force and a good battle for him."
But Vettel is the man Hamilton continues to have his eye on the most and expects a strong response in 2018.
"I think this year there have been weak points he’s shown, pressure points you might call them, and I’m sure he’s going to try to work on those areas next year," he claimed. "I’ve got to raise my game to reply to him."
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