Sebastian Vettel says he wants Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen to be his toughest rival for the 2016 F1 world championship as it will mean the Italian squad has built the strongest car.
The Ferrari driver, who dominated F1 by taking four consecutive world titles with former team Red Bull between 2010 and 2013, switched to the Maranello squad last season in a bid to hunt down Mercedes. The German manufacturer has effectively been unstoppable since the regulations revamp in 2014 with the V6 hybrid turbo engines and has stormed to back-to-back drivers', teams' and manufacturers' championships.
Vettel was the only driver to beat the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in 2015 by winning three races – Malaysia, Hungary and Singapore – and is aiming to cut Mercedes' advantage again with a fight for a fifth F1 drivers' crown.
Speaking on his official website, the German 28-year-old says he wants Kimi Raikkonen as his fiercest rival for the F1 championship as it will demonstrate Ferrari has produced a stronger all-round car package compared to Mercedes.
“I hope [to fight] Kimi, because that would mean that we have a very strong car, with which we can both go for the F1 world championship,” Vettel said.
The Ferrari driver line-up still boasts the highest number of F1 world championships collectively with Vettel's (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013) and Raikkonen's (2007) combined five titles outweighing McLaren (three) and Mercedes (three).