Mexico City - Sebastian Vettel insisted he has no fear of Lewis Hamilton who on Sunday equalled his mark of four world drivers titles.
The German finished fourth for Ferrari in the Mexican Grand Prix after an opening lap collision with Hamilton, who finished ninth for Mercedes.
Dutchman Max Verstappen won the race for Red Bull.
“I am disappointed, obviously,” said Vettel. “But it is not that important.
“It is more important to say well done to Lewis who has deserved the title and done such a superb job all year.”
Wearing dark glasses, the deflated Vettel hugged Hamilton and congratulated him personally in the post-race interviews pen.
“Yes, all congratulations to him. It’s his day today. He deserved it.”
Asked how he rated Hamilton in the pantheon of champion drivers, Vettel said: “Well, he’s up there with four titles so he deserves it, if you can count!”
He added: “But I don’t fear him. I like racing against him and I just wish I could have done more of it this year, but overall they (Mercedes) were the better bunch."