Recent seasons have been dominated by Mercedes with no other teams coming close. But on Sunday, Vettel demonstrated that Ferrari is a real threat this year by clinching victory in Melbourne.
Now both drivers say that they hope that continues into the rest of the season.
"For sure I would love to have a close battle," said Vettel. "Obviously right now it looks like we have equal machinery. I hope it stays that way and then we will see how it turns out.
"It’s obviously a lot of fun to race for victories and a lot of fun to race against the best.
"I have great respect [for Lewis]. He’s proven to be one of the quickest drivers on the grid.
"I think he had an amazing debut here ten years ago. I still remember his move around the outside, when he made other people look a bit silly."
Hamilton agreed with Vettel's view that it looked like it was going to be a hard-fought campaign this season.
Read the full article on eurosport.co.uk: Vettel and Hamilton looking forward to close title fight