Nico Rosberg has reiterated the 'extra pleasure' he will get from beating Lewis Hamilton to this year's Formula 1 World Championship title if he can finally get the better of his Mercedes team-mate.

The German has been defeated by Hamilton for the last two seasons, with a final race shootout dwindling to a distant battle that saw the Englishman wrap up a second straight crown with three events to go.

Ahead of the 2016 season though, Rosberg remains convinced he can take the fight to Hamilton, saying he relishes the challenge of getting the better of his team-mate in a rivalry that has occasionally turned bitter.

"I look forward to the challenge, big time," he said. "That is what I love about racing - that challenge, that battle to beat the other guy and especially the other guy that has been beating me the last two years that is even better because he is the benchmark and to beat him will give me extra pleasure.

"It was great to have such a successful end to the season, it gives me a little bit more of a positive boost for this year. But every race starts at zero again - it's a new season, new car, new regulations, it is starting from scratch."

Discussing the threat from Ferrari after Hamilton said he expects the Italian team to 'have something up its sleeve', Rosberg admits the threat is 'big'.

"Ferrari is a big threat. They were extremely close to our pace in testing. Of course you never know, but we take them extremely seriously and we need to be careful. We are expecting a battle, yeah, which is fine - just as long as they are never in front of me."