The Scuderia have again struggled with a lack of pace in 2016 and neither Vettel nor team-mate Kimi Raikkonen has managed to win a race.
However, the German did finish the season on somewhat of a high, rounding off the campaign with a battling third place finish on Sunday at the Yas Marina Circuit, as compatriot Nico Rosberg wrapped up the Drivers' Championship.
The 29-year-old admits it has been another frustrating campaign for Ferrari but has praised the way in which everyone at Maranello has worked towards their collective goal.
"The whole team deserved the podium today," Vettel said. "We have worked so hard, we've had so much criticism this year – sometimes right, sometimes not justified but that's how it goes.
"It is a tough game and we are fighting tough opponents.
"It has been a tough year but obviously it is nice to finish on a high and take that momentum into next year."