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Sports

Vettel closes season with Brazilian Grand Prix victory

© afp

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-11-24

Red Bull's four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel closed the season by winning the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday, becoming the first Formula One driver to win nine successive races in a season. Australian team mate Mark Webber came in second.

Red Bull's four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel closed the season by winning the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday, becoming the first Formula One driver to win nine successive races in a season and chalking up his 13th victory for the year.

Australian team mate Mark Webber bowed out of Formula One with second place in his 215th and final race for Red Bull before heading to Le Mans sportscars with Porsche.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, this season's overall runner-up, finished third.

Vettel, 26, is the first Formula One driver to win nine successive races in a single season, although Italian Alberto Ascari took nine in a row over two campaigns in 1952-53.

"Guys, I am so proud of you. I love you. Remember this, enjoy this moment. Yes. We did it. This is unbelievable," Vettel said, his voice wavering over the team radio after he took the chequered flag.

His victory equalled compatriot Michael Schumacher's 2004 record of 13 wins in a season with Ferrari.

"I am actually quite sad that this season is coming to an end," he said in a podium interview after he and Alonso had doused Webber, who ends the year third in the championship, in champagne.

Vettel and Red Bull had secured their fourth successive drivers' and constructors' titles in India last month.

Jenson Button, the 2009 world champion and last before Vettel, finished fourth for McLaren – a result that rescued the team from suffering their worst season since their debut in 1966 even if they failed to stand on the podium at any point in 2013.

Nico Rosberg was fifth for Mercedes, who end the championship as overall runners-up and six points ahead of Ferrari.

Mexican Sergio Perez was sixth, after starting 19th following a five place grid penalty, in his final appearance for McLaren with his future uncertain.

Brazilian Felipe Massa, angry and incredulous after being handed a drive-through penalty, brought down the curtain on eight years as a Ferrari driver with seventh place in front of his home fans.

Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes came in ninth place. He was also handed a drive-through penalty for a skirmish with Finland's Valtteri Bottas that left the Briton limping back to the pits with a puncture while the Williams shed a rear tyre and retired.

Marussia won the battle with Malaysian-owned Caterham for 10th place in the constructors' championship – a position with considerable financial implications for both, with only the top 10 getting a share of the revenue.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

 

Date created : 2013-11-24

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