Ferrari’s Jock Clear is confident Sebastian Vettel will use his painful 2018 Formula 1 world title defeat as a strength for next season as “unfinished business”.

Vettel has been open discussing the painful nature of this year’s F1 title miss to Lewis Hamilton, in what was dubbed as the fight for five world championships, but feels his 2009 world crown loss to Jenson Button was a more bitter experience.

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Clear, a senior engineer at Ferrari who has worked closely with F1 champions Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg and Jacques Villeneuve during his career, says Vettel is another top-level driver who relishes the pressure of a world title scrap and holds faith he’ll use this years’ experience as motivation for 2019.

“I think on the whole, he has come to this battle willing to take risks, willing to give it his all and we’re part of that,” Clear said. “We’ve all done our part this year to the ups and downs.

“I think from Seb’s point of view it just gives him more strength to come back next year and say ‘this is unfinished business’.

“The fact is drivers of his caliber relish the pressure. The top athletes pit themselves against the best and the pressure is the pressure. That’s part of the job.

“I think he has enjoyed the season. There have been highs and lows. I think he said recently that losing the championship in 2009 he found more frustrating.”

Assessing Ferrari’s season as a whole, Clear concedes the Italian squad has failed in key moments in terms of strategy and development against Mercedes but still rates the campaign as its best in a decade.

“We look back over the season, we look at the strengths of what is probably the strongest Ferrari season for 10 years and we build on those strengths,” he said. “I think the win in Austin is a testament to the fact that the team does come back and does fight back and we did understand some of the issues we uncovered in the second third of the season.

“The fact is that over the course of 21 races you have to score more points than the opposition.

“We haven't done that for Seb, we’re still in the hunt for the Constructors’ obviously and it’s going to be a tough battle here and hopefully to Abu Dhabi.”

Ferrari trimmed Mercedes’ lead in the F1 world constructors’ championship to 55 points after the United States Grand Prix but will lose the title fight with one round to go against the German manufacturer if it fails to close the gap by more than 13 points this weekend in Brazil.