Sebastian Vettel says missing out on the 2009 Formula 1 world championship was harder to take than his title defeat to Lewis Hamilton this season.

For the second consecutive season Vettel lost out on the drivers’ championship to Hamilton, who wrapped up his fifth world title with two races to spare at the Mexican Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver has only been beaten in a direct title battle on one other occasion in his F1 career, having finished just 11 points behind Jenson Button in 2009 during his first season with Red Bull.

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“Three times now I have been in a position like that, with 2017, 2009 and this year,” Vettel said ahead of this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix.

“Probably ‘09 was the worst one and the lowest point.

"You never know what the next year brings so you never know whether you get another chance.

“I have worked very hard for it and I am confident it will come but ultimately I don’t know, you can’t predict. None of those moments were nice.”

Despite arguably boasting the fastest car for much of the year, a series of driver errors and missed opportunities ultimately hampered Vettel’s 2018 campaign, though the German is confident lessons will be learned heading into next season.

“I know my job and I know my role and I don’t think it will change next year in terms of what I have to do,” he insisted.

“Certainly there is a lot of stuff that happened this year and we will be able to, as a team and as an individual, be able to learn from it and take it forward and raise the bar next year.”

A wrong direction in development also played a role, as Ferrari slipped behind Mercedes in the pecking order after an aerodynamic upgrade introduced in Singapore backfired.

“Obviously along the way something went wrong and we need to learn from it, something went wrong and we didn’t go and develop in the right direction,” Vettel explained.

“So clearly we missed something and not because something was on purpose by default set wrong. So it’s up to us to find a fix for it and make sure it doesn’t happen again, but it’s not so simple to find and fix it as it sounds.”

Asked if he remains as motivated as ever before, Vettel replied: “Yeah. I still have a mission here and I still want to win. That hasn’t changed.

“Obviously the last race was a tough one to swallow and probably the winter will be as well. Giving up is not an option.”