Sebastian Vettel says he is anxious to see the Red Bull car he hopes will help him win a third successive world championship.
The 24-year-old German dominated in 2011 to join an elite group of nine drivers to claim back-to-back titles.
Vettel, who finished 122 points ahead of his nearest rival, said: "We are all curious about the car.
"We see it coming together. It's like a child being born. I'm not a father but they tell me that's how it feels."
Vettel says he is using the Christmas and new year break to relax after a long season.
"There isn't much of an off-season, so it's really important to use that to shut the system down, calm down and charge the batteries - not forget about F1 but forget for a while about all the stress," he said.
Vettel's 2011 season was one of the most dominant in F1 history - he finished with 11 wins and an all-time record 15 pole positions from 19 races - but his hunger for success is undiminished.
"It all starts from zero again and we all have the same chance," he said in an exclusive interview for the BBC F1 review of the year, which is broadcast on New Year's Eve.
"I'm looking forward to the competition. We are all very happy with this year, so it wouldn't be right to ask for more. If we can match 2011 and do better here and there, that would be fantastic."
Vettel, who won his second title with four races to go, now stands in the sport's annals alongside Alberto Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio, Jack Brabham, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, Mika Hakkinen and Fernando Alonso.
And he added: "You try not to think consciously about yourself and your success and what you might have achieved.
"But then when you see you are now at the same step as these guys. It is hard to put into words."
The BBC F1 review also features exclusive interviews with McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.
Button, who finished second to Vettel in the world championship, paid tribute to his rival's achievement.
"We weren't too worried after the first couple of races but then it kept happening [Vettel kept winning] and we began to worry," Button said.
"In 2010, I was amazed he had won [the title] because he made a lot of mistakes but in 2011 he came alive and did a fantastic job."