The pair are now tied atop the F1 drivers' championship having had a win and a second place apiece in 2017's opening races.
Although they have won seven of the last nine titles between them, Hamilton and Vettel have not previously had a one-on-one championship battle and currently enjoy a friendly relationship. And Hamilton is hopeful that that won't change.
I honestly think it will stay the way it is. Who knows, maybe we'll have times where we are racing hard together, and of course there could be that scenario where one of us thinks something is unfair, or has been too aggressive, whatever it may be. But we're grown men, we've come a long way, and we've experienced a lot.
"The respect for one another is the highest that I have felt from another driver, especially of his calibre," Hamilton continued. "It's amazing sportsmanship: when you win you enjoy it, and you also acknowledge the person next door. And even when you lose it's the same thing. We're both doing that, and that's a great place to be.
"Naturally he wants to kill me out there and beat me, and vice versa, but then outside the car the admiration for the other's achievements and the way that they drive [is there too]. He's performing at his best, he is rapid out there, so when I'm able to get ahead, it only compliments you, and vice versa."
After three years of an exclusive title fight with now-former Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, Hamilton said taking on an external rival in a Ferrari made wins more satisfying.
Read the full article on eurosport.co.uk: Hamilton: head-to-head battle with Vettel will be a career high