Brazilian Grand Prix 2013: Sebastian Vettel ends dominant season with win
Brazilian Grand Prix 2013: Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel brings season to a close with a victory in an action-packed race
Sebastian Vettel concluded a storied season with another dominant performance, securing yet another victory and yet more records at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The four-time world champion’s win equalled Alberto Ascari’s 60-year-old record of nine consecutive F1 world championship victories and Michael Schumacher’s 2004 mark of 13 chequered flags in a single season.
It’s little wonder the German was disappointed this race around the fabled Interlagos circuit brings the curtain down on a season he surely never wants to finish.
“I am actually quite sad the season is coming to an end. The car has been phenomenal and has been getting better in every race,” he said, after securing the 39th win of his career.
“It was very difficult at the end today with the rain but I am extremely proud and a big thanks to the team and a big thanks to Renault as well.
“Thanks to Mark, we didn’t have the best of relationships but we have also have always had a lot of respect for each other and we have been a very successful pairing for the team.”
The weather threatened to cause problems but it will take more than drizzle to deny Red Bull’s dominance, which their team principal Christian Horner is running out of superlatives to describe.
Vettel’s team-mate Mark Webber, in his final race before a switch to endurance racing, took second while Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso pre-race rain dance rewarded him with third.
“I want to thank everyone who has helped me – they know who they are,” said Webber.
“It was a good finish to my career. I want to thank Seb, Fernando, Lewis all the guys who have been in window the last few years.”
Alonso, who secured second in the overall standings in the USA last week, was happy to end a run of five races without a podium.
But Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali was less than impressed with a drive through penalty that dropped departing team-mate Felipe Massa down to seventh, meaning Mercedes secured second in the constructors’ championship by just six points.
“It’s a shame and sad that he had a drive-through [penalty] because a podium was close for Felipe,” said Alonso.
“When I saw he was in fourth place I though it would be a good celebration for him.
“It’s sad but for the last four years he’s been an amazing team-mate with amazing skills and we’ve had a friendly relationship. Next year we will see him in the paddock in different colours.
“It was a difficult race for everyone. The rain did not come and we would have been more competitive in the wet.
“It seemed like it was going to rain at any time but it didn’t and it was a shame for us. But to finish on the podium means we finish the season on a high. Next year we look forwards.”
McLaren’s Jenson Button secured his best result of the season with a fourth place while Lewis Hamilton was left frustrated after also picking up a drive through penalty, following a collision with Williams’ Valtteri Bottas, that dropped him to ninth.
“I don’t really know what happened and I need to see it again,” said Hamilton.
“I just don’t know what happened, I went to the right and we touched, I obviously did something wrong. A podium was achievable which is why it was so disappointing. I am just glad it’s over.”
Brazilian Grand Prix 2013: Race result
1. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 71 laps 1hr 32m 36.300s
2. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault +00m 10.4s
3. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari +00m 18.9s
4. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes +00m 37.3s
5. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes +00m 39.0s
6. Sergio Perez Mexico McLaren-Mercedes +00m 44.0s
7. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari +00m 49.1s
8. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Sauber-Ferrari +01m 04.2s
9. Lewis Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes +01m 12.9s
10. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1 lap
11. Paul di Resta Britain Force India-Mercedes +1 lap
12. Esteban Gutierrez Spain Sauber-Ferrari +1 lap
13. Adrian Sutil Germany Force India-Mercedes +1 lap
14. Heikki Kovalainen Finand Lotus-Renault +1 lap
15. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1 lap
16. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault +1 lap
17. Jules Bianchi France Marussia-Cosworth +2 laps
18. Giedo van der Garde Holland Caterham-Renault +2 laps
19. Max Chilton Britain Marussia-Cosworth +2 laps
Rtd Charles Pic France Caterham-Renault 58 laps completed
Rtd Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Renault 45 laps completed
Rtd Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 2 laps completed