Hamilton hopes battle with Vettel emulates Djokovic and Federer

After moving back to within six points of Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton hopes the battle for F1 supremacy can become a great rivalry.

Lewis Hamilton leads Sebastian Vettel at the Spanish Grand Prix   -  Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton wants to emulate tennis legends Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in his burgeoning Formula One title fight with Sebastian Vettel.

Ferrari star Vettel jumped pole-sitter Hamilton off the line at the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, but Mercedes' strategy helped Hamilton take first place back from the German to cut the gap at the top of the standings to six points.

With seven drivers' titles between them, the pair have never been engaged in such an intense battle as they are in 2017.

Both men have regularly spoken of their delight at how the battle between them is shaping up, and Hamilton hopes it could go down in history like other great rivalries.

"What I loved about the race with Sebastian is... I love tennis and I love watching Federer and Djokovic in the final and what I really admire is consistency," he said. 

"I admire their concentration and how they are so awesome and stay at the limit. I felt I had that battle on Sunday."

Hamilton and Vettel banged wheels after the Mercedes man emerged from the pits alongside the red car. Vettel would stay ahead, but the Silver Arrow charged past soon after - Vettel describing the Mercedes as "like a train".

"If it had gone in a different direction, it would have been different," Hamilton said.

"If he had hit me in turn one and won the race I'm not going to be happy. It was aggressive but I was still able to remain in the fight and avoid it, ultimately I was able to avoid a collision.

"But I love a tough fight and I love a challenge. He was respectful and still that respect stayed the same at the end. On Sunday he was angry, he said he was angry, he drove a fantastic race but I can understand how he feels. 

"We are never going to be happy finishing second. If he finished second and was happy, I would be concerned."

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