Sebastian Vettel has described what it would mean to win a Formula 1 world title with Ferrari and ending the dominance of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes as the “ultimate satisfaction” of his racing career.

The four-time F1 world champion is solely focused on taking the title fight to Hamilton in 2018 after losing out to the British driver last year having led the drivers’ standings for the majority of the season before his disastrous Asian flyaway races.

After joining Ferrari in 2015, Vettel is still searching for his first title with the team and a first world championship of any kind for the Italian manufacturer in a decade since it clinched the 2008 F1 world constructors’ crown.

Having seen Hamilton draw level with him as a four-time F1 world champion after his 2017 title triumph, Vettel admits he is fighting against an all-time F1 great and beating the defending champion this year would act as “the ultimate satisfaction”.

“I am searching for the ultimate satisfaction which is to win with Ferrari who are the greatest team in history and the greatest team in the paddock,” Vettel said. “That is my ultimate target now, to win with Ferrari, and win against the best which arguably Lewis is one of them.

“I think it is a privilege to prove yourself in F1 and be able to race in F1. Then I think when you get in [F1] all you want to do is win you don’t look at anything else. Maybe afterwards when you look back you get a bit more perspective and open your horizons. I think then it becomes something special to win against the best.”

Vettel also agrees with the sentiment that he can take more from a potential fifth F1 world title if it meant beating Hamilton and Mercedes having seen the German manufacturer storm to four consecutive years of F1 domination.

Since the start of the V6 hybrid era in 2014, Mercedes has taken a clean sweep of F1 world constructors’ titles and has the opportunity to match the all-time record of five straight F1 world constructors’ crowns which was set by Ferrari between 2000-2005.

Vettel sees Hamilton as key to Mercedes' success and feels winning the world title in 2018 would become an even greater feat for him and Ferrari.

“If I looked at the people I raced against it has always been the same people from karting, I didn’t race Lewis in karting but I was aware of him,” he said. “We met a little bit later in Formula 3 when he was a lot better than I was and ultimately then we met in F1.

“I think then you care more about who you race against and what is means as it gives you more satisfaction.”

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