The F1 season finished as many predicted, with Lewis Hamilton – who already clinched his fifth world championship with races to spare – didn’t have it all his own way.
However, he did enough to register his 11th victory of what was a dominant campaign for him and Mercedes.
Vettel’s errors earlier on in the season came back to haunt him and Ferrari, and after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Hamilton performed ‘doughnuts’ on the track.
While Vettel will rue some of his mistakes, he admitted he wasn’t at the level he should have been and he has suggested he will take a break to recharge his batteries.
“I think I need some time for myself,” Vettel said.
“I think it has been a quite difficult and exhausting year for me. I definitely need a bit of a gap.
“Looking back I haven’t been at the top of my game.”
Hamilton reckons Vettel is likely to be his most challenger again in 2019.
Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel had very contrasting seasons
Lewis Hamilton enjoyed a dominant campaign with Mercedes
I think it has been a quite difficult and exhausting year for me. I definitely need a bit of a gap
He added: “I imagine it would be Sebastian and Valtteri alongside me.
“Red Bull have got a great car, they have been very strong at the end of the year.
“They will have a new engine next year.
“Will they be able to compete with us? I hope so.
“That would be epic if they could mingle with us weekend-in, weekend-out.
“But they have to work on their reliability. But I wish them all the best.
“We are ready for the competition.”