Tributes flowed for Germany’s Sebastian Vettel after the Red Bull driver claimed his third consecutive Formula 1 drivers’ world championship in Brazil. The German only needed a sixth-place finish at the season-ending race at Interlagos to clinch the title, three points ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.
Leading the praise was Vettel’s compatriot, seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, who competed in his last Grand Prix Sunday, while Red Bull teammate Mark Webber described the 25-year-old as “unique”.
Michael Schumacher said: “In a way it reminds of 2003, I had a similar struggle and I just managed to win the championship by a single point. I’m very proud of him and he’s a good friend of mine, lets see what happens in his future.”
Teammate Mark Webber said: “He’s in a club on his own now. It’s very, very special to do it three times in a row. Last year was a little more straightforward, this year was a bit more difficult, as was 2010. I congratulate him, it’s a great effort. You have to take your hat off to him and I am happy that the world championship stays in the team.”
Rival Fernando Alonso of Ferrari commented: “The championship was not lost here. It was lost when Romain Grosjean flew over my head or when Vettel surprisingly only got a reprimand after qualifying in Japan. I have a great feeling after 2012.”
Jenson Button of McLaren said: “To win three world championships in a row is a great achievement. Everyone who took part in today’s race deserves respect. It was crazy out there.”