Vettel and Ferrari forced Mercedes to raise the bar, says Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton says he was particularly satisfied to raise the bar and beat a resurgent Sebastian Vettel to the Formula One drivers' championship in 2017.
Vettel, a dominant force in the sport during his time at Red Bull, produced a strong start for the Scuderia this year, winning three of the first six races of the campaign.
Hamilton, though, gradually asserted himself to come out on top and join Vettel on four career titles, leaving the Mercedes driver proud of overcoming his German rival.
"Naturally you want to compete against the best," he said.
"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."