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- Updated: March 1, 2018
Formula One legend Alain Prost has claimed that the major motivator for both Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel in this year’s campaign is to pip each other to a fifth world title.
Last year, while Vettel had given Hamilton a stiff fight for the early part of the campaign, the Brit roared back and eventually won the championship with two races to spare.
Vettel has last tasted success in 2013, which was his fourth consecutive championship.
This year, Hamilton has already been dubbed as the pre-season favourite, with the first race set to begin in Melbourne on March 25.
In the entire history of the sport, Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fanigo are the only drivers to have won more than four championships, having won seven and five titles respectively.
Prost, who has won it four times himself, claimed that the prospect of beating each other to the landmark will provide extra motivation for Hamilton and Vettel this season.
“They are close because they are very competitive,” he told Sky Sports.
“They have the experience, I don’t know how many races they have (between them). But for sure two of the most-talented drivers in history.
“It’s very difficult to compare, saying ‘he has this quality’, I never do that myself anyway.
“Also because they are in different teams you have to consider that the Mercedes package was for sure better in the last few years but now you don’t know what’s going to happen.
“What is obvious is they have the motivation to be world champion again, especially because one more title will make them five-time world champion.
“They want to be the first one to reach this goal which is good, especially with Lewis’ situation.
“He has been world champion again and that is an extra motivation that sometimes is good, it helps.
“For Sebastian being with Ferrari I would say there are two kinds of motivation.
“Being world champion for a fifth time but also winning a title with Ferrari is also quite extraordinary for a racing driver, formula one drivers, it’s very important.”