Lewis Hamilton says he welcomes the challenge brought about by Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari following the Malaysian Grand Prix, even if he isn't certain whether it will pose the same strong challenge in China this weekend.

The championship leader was beaten into second place by Vettel in Sepang, marking the first time Mercedes has been out-performed in terms of outright pace since a change to the regulations at the start of 2014.

Even so, with many - including Ferrari itself - suggesting the unusually hot conditions played to its apparent advantage in tyre conservation, there is scepticism over whether such a result can be repeated, particularly in the cooler climes of Shanghai and the Chinese Grand Prix.

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"They are very, very quick, they did a great job," he said. "We could have done a better job. It is true pace they had, whether it is [genuine] we will find out here. It is two extremes, so we will get a better understanding after practice.

"We are not stressed or anything, we [didn't have the] most amazing weekend, but I think we will be stronger this weekend."

Acknowledging the pace of his rival, Hamilton insists he is happy to be challenged by Vettel regardless of whether he is ahead or behind.

"That's why I was quite chilled after the race," he said. "It is great to have that competition. I wish we were closer and we didn't have a 10secs gap between us, whether I was ahead or behind, but hopefully we will have that here."

Responding to Wolff's suggestion that losing out to Ferrari is a 'wake up call', Hamilton feels his comments have been 'blown out of proportion'.

"I personally don't [see it as a wake-up call], but he is a team boss that is his perspective. For me, you can't get every weekend right and it wasn't even that much of a disaster of a weekend for us.

"There are many things we could have done better, but it wasn't a big disaster and people have definitely blown it out of proportion."