SAO PAOLO — Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel won a third consecutive world drivers’ title by three points in the Brazilian GP.
Report by Reuters
In an incident-packed, rain-affected race, Vettel fought back to finish sixth after dropping to last on lap one following a collision.
His rival Fernando Alonso of Ferrari finished second, meaning he needed Vettel to be lower than seventh. McLaren’s was hit by Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg.
The German was trying to pass Hamilton for the lead with 27 laps to go, but lost control on the slippery track and slid into the side of Hamilton’s car.
Hulkenberg, driving the race of his career up to that point, was given a drive-through penalty and finished fifth, behind Alonso’s teammate Felipe Massa in third and Red Bull’s Mark Webber in fourth.
Vettel becomes the youngest driver in history to win three world titles — at six years younger than Ayrton Senna. He is only the third driver to win three in succession.
“It is difficult to imagine what goes through my head now even for myself,” Vettel said. “I am full of adrenaline and if you poke me now I wouldn’t feel it.
“It was an incredible race. When you get turned around at Turn Four for no reason and it becomes like heading the wrong way down the M25 it is not the most comfortable feeling.
“I was lucky noone hit me, but the car was damaged and we lost a lot of speed, especially when it dried up. Fortunately it started to rain again and I felt so much happier.
A breathless and topsy-turvy race, with intermittent rain, created drama from the first lap.
Vettel made a bad start from fourth on the grid and at the fourth corner was first tagged from behind by Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen and then hit by Williams’s Bruno Senna.
The impact knocked Vettel into a spin, and damaged the rear bodywork of his car, and he was last as he crossed the line at the end of lap one. Alonso finished the first lap fifth, but seconds later passed Massa and Webber as they went three abreast into Turn One to take third.