Sebastian Vettel says he needs some time for himself during the winter break after an “exhausting” 2018 Formula 1 season.

The Ferrari driver claimed five victories and pole positions across the year but was ultimately beaten to the 2018 championship crown by Lewis Hamilton with two races to spare in Mexico.

Following last weekend’s season-finale in Abu Dhabi, where Vettel finished second to Hamilton, the German said he was looking forward to having a much-needed break.

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"We've got some events coming but things that I look forward to, after this year, to be very honest, is to turn everything off,"

"I need some time for myself. It has been a quite difficult and exhausting year for me. I definitely need a bit of a gap.

"I'm pretty sure, based on the last winters, that very soon, usually after 111 days, I'm very, very hungry again for the next race."

When asked how he plans to spend his time away, Vettel replied: “Just enjoy home. Enjoy my family, friends, do stuff that you don't usually have much time for, some DIY, do some fixing at home. Small jobs."

Vettel led the championship standings after the opening 10 races but a series of high-profile errors - most notably crashing out the lead in Germany and suffering first-lap spins in Italy, Japan and the United States - tainted his campaign.

He finished 88 points adrift of Hamilton in the championship after winning just one race in the final 11 rounds, while the Mercedes driver took eight victories and seven poles, finishing off the podium just once in a dominant end to the campaign.

"Looking back I haven't been at the top of my game," Vettel admitted. "I can be better than I was at times this year.

"I don't think I ever had any problems raising my hand if I made a mistake. I don't think I need to change things upside down but certainly I can adjust and get stronger.

"Having said that though, I think we also had a lot of races where we got everything out of the car and the package and I felt that I did everything I could."