Sebastian Vettel won Formula One’s season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday, matching Michael Schumacher’s record of 13 victories in a year and equalling the nine consecutive wins of Alberto Ascari.
Vettel’s Red Bull teammate Mark Webber was second in his final F1 race. Fernando Alonso of Ferrari was third.
Vettel, who had already wrapped up a fourth straight F1 title, was overtaken by Nico Rosberg of Mercedes at the start but regained the lead on the second lap and cruised to his second victory in Brazil, and 39th of his career. He crossed the line 10.4 seconds in front of Webber.
Jenson Button was fourth for McLaren’s best finish of the season. Rosberg was fifth.
The win capped an impressive season by Vettel, who had already broken Schumacher’s 2004 mark of seven straight wins in the same season last week at the United States GP. Vettel matched the 13 wins by Schumacher that same year, and equaled Ascari’s record of straight victories from 1952-53. The 26-year-old Vettel clinched the title at the Indian GP, becoming the youngest driver to win four world championships.
Webber, who had won two of the last four races in Brazil, will be joining Porsche in a sports car series in 2014. The 37-year-old Australian spent 12 seasons in F1, winning nine times and reaching the podium 33 times in 216 races.
Vettel had a poor start and was overtaken by Rosberg at the first turn but was back in front with a move to the inside of his fellow German driver on Turn 1 on the following lap. Vettel had a slow pit stop near the end but remained in front thanks to a big lead over Webber before coming in.
It was the first time this weekend that drivers raced on a dry track at Interlagos after the three practice sessions and qualifying were run in wet conditions. Light rain fell near the end of the race but it wasn’t enough to significantly affect the track conditions.