Skip to main content

Victorious Vettel makes history

November 25, 2012 -- Updated 1934 GMT (0334 HKT)
Sebastian Vettel celebrates after securing his third consecutive Formula One title. The Red Bull racer claimed a sixth place finish at the Brazilian Grand Prix to win the championship by three points from Fernando Alonso. Sebastian Vettel celebrates after securing his third consecutive Formula One title. The Red Bull racer claimed a sixth place finish at the Brazilian Grand Prix to win the championship by three points from Fernando Alonso.
HIDE CAPTION
Super Seb
Shades of glory
Chasing history
Pole sitter
Damaged goods
Running wide
Hamilton's hopes dashed
Joy for Jenson
The new Schumacher?
Party time
Give me five!
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sebastian Vettel makes history by becoming youngest ever triple F1 champion
  • Vettel claims sixth place finish to deny Fernando Alonso
  • Fernando Alonso finishes second and loses out by three points
  • McLaren's Jenson Button wins Grand Prix at Interlagos

(CNN) -- Sebastian Vettel recovered from a nightmare start to become the youngest ever triple Formula One champion as Jenson Button won the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The 25-year-old was hit on the fourth turn of the opening lap and suffered damage to the left side of his car which could not be fixed.

But Vettel roared back through the field to finish sixth and deny title rival Fernando Alonso by three points with the Spaniard finishing the race in second place.

'Brazil suits Red Bull' insists Vettel

"I feel very proud of my team and of the season we have had," said Alonso.

Formula One's greatest drivers
Who is the greatest F1 driver ever?
F1's Nico Rosberg scares Sergio Aguero

"We have lost the championship now, but not here in Brazil, instead in some other races (Belgium and Japan when he was involved in first corner accidents).

"When you do something 100% you have to happy and proud for the team, and we will try again next year."

It means that Vettel is only the third driver in the history of the sport to win three successive titles, equalling the achievements of Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher.

Fangio vs. Senna: Who is the greatest?

In a race which twisted and turned at every opportunity, it was no surprise that Vettel was made to sweat for his moment of glory.

A slow start saw him drop to ninth before a coming together with Bruno Senna left his car damaged.

With Red Bull unable to fix the problem and his title hopes sliding away, Vettel produced the drive of a champion, fighting his way from the back of the field to keep the pressure on Alonso.

All the pressure on Vettel claims Alonso

While Alonso sat further ahead with hopes of a third world title beginning to surface, the rain began to fall, leaving the drivers at the mercy of the elements.

Vettel was forced to pit no less than three times as the weather continued to change, while Lewis Hamilton's hopes of winning on his final race for McLaren were cruelly dashed.

The 2008 world champion, who will race for Mercedes next year, collided with Nico Hulkenberg and suffered a broken front-left suspension.

CNN Greatest F1 Driver: Day Five
CNN Greatest F1 Driver: Day Four
CNN Greatest F1 Driver: Day Three

While he was applauded all the way back to the paddock by his McLaren team, it was Button who took full advantage.

As the Briton remained untroubled as leader of the race, Vettel was still battling to get past Schumacher and claim the sixth place finish he needed to claim the title.

Seven-time winner Schumacher finished a creditable seventh on his final race before retirement, but it was the action further up the track which was catching the eye.

Alonso passed Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa to move into second, but with a few laps remaining, Vettel finally passed his fellow countryman to secure the title.

Final Brazilian GP top 10

1. Jenson Button - McLaren 1:45:22.656

2. Fernando Alonso - Ferrari +2.754

3. Felipe Massa - Ferrari +3.615

4. Mark Webber - Red Bull +4.936

5. Nico Hulkenberg - Force India +5.708

6. Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull +9.453

7. Michael Schumacher - Mercedes +11.907

8. Jean-Eric Vergne - Toro Rosso +28.653

9. Kamui Kobayashi - Sauber +31.250

10. Kimi Raikkonen - Lotus +1 lap

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
May 21, 2014 -- Updated 1459 GMT (2259 HKT)
Caterham F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi takes you on a tour of the Monaco racing circuit.
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
May 1, 2014 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1516 GMT (2316 HKT)
Just four F1 drivers turned up to Roland Ratzenberger's funeral after his death during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on April 30 1994.
April 25, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
For a championship with a distinctly Iberian streak, it is no surprise that South America should be high on MotoGP's list of territories to conquer.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
Susie Wolff, pictured, will become the Formula One's first female competitor in 20 years when she takes part in the first practice sessions at the British and German grands prix in July.
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.
ADVERTISEMENT