Lewis Hamilton said he was looking forward to more battles in the rest of the Formula One 2017 season with Sebastian Vettel while denying any kind of 'bromance' between the two champion drivers after winning the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday.
The three-time world champion dominated from pole to finish at the Shanghai International Circuit in the main race, that was filled with action, on a track that initially was damp but started to dry after the first few laps. Vettel dropped from second to sixth place in the early stages of the race but staged a brilliant comeback to overtake his Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull's Max Verstappen to finish 6.2s behind Hamilton.
"There is no bromance but we have a hugely respectful competitiveness. I am really looking forward to more battles with him," Hamilton said, as quoted by Sky Sports after Sunday's race.
"It is going to be one of the closest, if not the closest, fights [driver championship battle] I have experienced."
Hamilton and Vettel are now tied at the top spot on driver standings with 43 points each as both of them have won a race each. The two drivers, who share seven world championship titles between them, embraced each other after the race as the Brit patted the German for coming up with a stiff fight in Shanghai.
Notably, Hamilton revealed that he had told Vettel that he would be eyeing revenge after the latter piped the former to win the season-opening Australian Grand Prix last month. The 32-year-old has added that he is enjoying what appears to be a close title battle with the Ferrari driver, who has made best use of new regulations that demanded faster and meaner cars in the new season.
"The following hours after Melbourne, I had a burning pain of losing. I told Seb [Vettel] I was coming back to get him in the next one. I said to him on the podium 'I told you'," the Brit added.
While Hamilton once again put Mercedes on top early in the season, in which Ferrari are expected to fight for the constructors' championships, his teammate Valtteri Bottas disappointed in China as he spun while getting his tyres warmed up behind safety cars. The Finn, who finished third in Australia, managed to end up sixth in Shanghai earlier today.