Vettel dominates in season finale with Brazilian Grand Prix victory

On another rainy day in Brazil, the 2013 World Champion took his 13th win of the season.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel finished the last race of the FIA Formula One 2013 season in style after he took the chequered flag as the winner of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The reigning World Champion not only had success on a personal level at the end of the last race of the season, but was also joined on the podium for the final time by his team mate, Mark Webber who finished in second place. Webber marked his last appearance in the series in the best way as he also secured his 42nd podium finish in the process.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso crossed the line at the end of the 71 lap marathon to pick up the third and final spot on the podium for himself. The Spaniard's place in the top three today is his first since the Singapore Grand Prix back in September.

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W04 takes the lead at the start of the race
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W04 takes the lead at the start of the race

Photo by: XPB Images

McLaren's Jenson Button ended the season with the best race result of the year for himself and the team. The Englishman had a disappointing qualifying session yesterday, in which he could only do enough to secure a 15th place start for the race today.

The 2009 World Champion was promoted to 14th place though, as his team mate Sergio Perez was issued with a five place grid penalty for a gearbox change before the race got underway.

To add to his woes, Perez found himself under investigation by the stewards on lap nine together with Force India's Paul Di Resta for the purpose of forcing another driver off the track.

It was announced on lap 13 that no further action would be taken with the pair. Perez finished the race a couple of places behind Button in sixth position. The Mexican driver's result meant that he picked up a few points for himself and the team in what was his last race for them. It has not yet been revealed as to whether or not he will find a race seat with another team for next season.

Mercedes' driver, Nico Rosberg slipped down the field by a few places from his second place qualifying slot yesterday. The German completed the race in fifth place but did manage to get ahead of his team mate, Lewis Hamilton in the process.

Sergio Perez, McLaren MP4-28 and Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus F1 E21 battle for position
Sergio Perez, McLaren MP4-28 and Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus F1 E21 battle for position

Photo by: XPB Images

The Englishman finished the Grand Prix in ninth place. Hamilton's race was disrupted on lap 47 when he had a coming together with Williams' driver, Valtteri Bottas. Hamilton's left rear tyre got a little too close for comfort with Bottas' right rear tyre.

Bottas unfortunately retired from the race instantly, while Hamilton was forced to make an unexpected pit stop for a tyre change due to the puncture. It was later reported via the team radio that there was concern over possible damage to the floor of his car, but the 2008 World Champion carried on in the race.

Hamilton faced a further delay to his race when he was under investigation by the stewards for causing a collision with Bottas. The Briton then had to serve a drive through penalty as a result of this.

Alonso's team mate, Felipe Massa also came under fire by the stewards and was under investigation on lap 30 for the purpose of crossing the white line at the pit lane entry. The Brazilian driver was then issued with a drive through penalty as a consequence of his actions.

Massa managed to recover from the delay and crossed the finish line in front of his home crowd to take seventh place. Massa's point scoring finish was his last for the Ferrari team as he joins the Williams team next season and will be alongside Bottas.

Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg seemed to have a fairly problem free final race of the season compared to some of the other drivers who also finished in a top 10 point scoring position. The German driver improved on his 10th place qualifying spot from yesterday by the end of the race and moved up to secure eighth position.

Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo seemed to keep out of the limelight during the race. The Australian driver did drop down a few places from his original spot, but still finished in a respectable place as he took the 10th and final point scoring position.

Aside from Bottas making an early exit from the final race on the calendar, the Finnish driver was also joined by Lotus Renault's Romain Grosjean. The French man bowed out on lap four before the action had barely begun. Grosjean's situation looked bleak when smoke was seen pouring out of the engine and he suddenly abandoned his car off the track which spelt the end of his race. Grosjean's retirement was thought to be due to an engine failure.

Caterham's Charles Pic also accompanied Grosjean and Bottas in retirement. The French man came to a standstill in his car just at the side of the track on lap 61 and he did not take any further part in the action. It was reported that Pic retired from the race due to possible suspension damage.

The stewards seemed to have a bit of work to do in the last race of the season and this was increased when Pic's team mate, Giedo van der Garde was under investigation for the purpose of ignoring blue flags. The Dutchman was issued with a drive through penalty for his actions.

Bottas' team mate, Pastor Maldonado was under investiagation after the race with Ricciardo's team mate, Jean-Eric Vergne. It was announced that the pair had a coming together on the track and that the stewards would look into this. It has not yet been reported whether either of the pair will be penalised as a result of the incident.

Beyond the top 10 positions already taken at the end of the race and the retirements, the rest of the field fought over 11th to 19th place of those left participating in the action. These positions were taken up by the two teams, Marussia and Caterham usually found at the back of the grid that had drivers remaining in the race and the likes of the Force India duo, Paul Di Resta and Adrian Sutil.

Hulkenberg's team mate, Esteban Gutierrez also failed to score some points, along with Grosjean's team mate, Heikki Kovalainen and Maldonado and Vergne.

Now that the chequered flag has fallen on the last race of the 2013 season held at the spectacle of the Interlagos circuit, the drivers and teams have the winter break to prepare for the 2014 season when it begins in March at the Australian Grand Prix.

One thing is certain: Vettel has ended the season with victory in the final race and retained his Drivers' title for the fourth consecutive time in the sport.

Vettel's race win today makes it his ninth one in a row as well.

However, it remains to be seen whether or not Vettel will get off to a winning start in the opening race of next season, as new rules and regulations come into force and there is also the matter of a shakeup in driver lineups including Vettel's new team mate, Ricciardo to consider.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Mark Webber , Fernando Alonso , Lewis Hamilton , Felipe Massa , Nico Rosberg , Heikki Kovalainen , Giedo van der Garde , Pastor Maldonado , Sebastian Vettel , Adrian Sutil , Nico Hulkenberg , Sergio Perez , Romain Grosjean , Daniel Ricciardo , Esteban Gutierrez , Charles Pic , Valtteri Bottas , Jean-Eric Vergne
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren , Force India , Toro Rosso , Williams , Lotus F1 Team
Article type Race report
Tags alsonso, brazil, ferrari, rain, red bull, sao paulo, vettel, webber