Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel puts in a dominant performance at the Interlagos circuit to bring the 2013 F1 season to a close
Darren Moss
24 November 2013

Sebastian Vettel has won the final grand prix of the 2013 Formula 1 season at the Interlagos circuit in Brazil.

The Red Bull ace led from lap two, eventually finishing ahead of team-mate Mark Webber, and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso in third.

The race in Brazil not only marks the end of the F1 calendar for this year, but also the end of Webber's F1 career. The Australian driver will now move to Porsche to compete in Le Mans prototype racing.

Webber started in fourth position on the grid, with Alonso and Mercedes' Nico Rosberg lining up ahead of him, and Vettel once again taking pole position.

Vettel got a poor start off the line, however, meaning it was Rosberg who led the field into the first corner. Further down the pack, Lewis Hamilton was forced to go defensive as Alonso filled his mirrors, eventually being demoted to fourth position as the Spaniard sped past. Meanwhile, at the very front of the field, Vettel was able to successfully overtake Rosberg to re-claim the lead into lap two.

It was a short race for Romain Grosjean, whose Lotus exploded in a cloud of smoke on lap four, forcing the Frenchman to limp back to the pits.

By lap six, Alonso had continued his pace through the field, passing Rosberg to take second place. Vettel had opened up a huge lead, however, and was running unopposed with 4.9 seconds seperating himself and Alonso. Rosberg's race continued to deteriorate as he came under attack from Hamilton, prompting concerns that his tyres may be suffering excess wear. A radio message from the Mercedes garage to Rosberg said: "If you have problems with the tyres, then don't hold up Lewis. If they're coming back, then push."

Webber continued his strong final race, challenging Alonso for second place on lap 11 and passing him one lap later. That move left Vettel, albeit with a strong lead of some 9.6 seconds, being chased down by his Red Bull team-mate.

The challenges continued for Rosberg, who lost fifth place to the Ferrari of Felipe Massa having already been told to let Hamilton through too. He quickly also found himself under attack from the McLaren of Jensen Button.

The threat of impending rain showers around lap 22 caused a flurry of pit stops from the field. While most were smooth, Webber lost out with a very slow pit stop from Red Bull, meaning he exited behind Alonso in third place.

Massa was given a drive-through penalty by the race stewards on lap 30 for crossing the pit-lane entry line. The subsequent penalty cost the Ferrari driver some 16 seconds and released him back into the field behind the McLaren of Sergio Perez in ninth place.

Webber managed to again re-pass Alonso, and as the field continued to spread itself out Vettel was left running with an 11.9 second lead over the Australian, with Alonso falling behind and both Hamilton and Button also catching up in fourth and fifth places respectively.

Hamilton then suffered a rear puncture a few laps later after making contact with the Williams of Valtteri Bottas and causing the driver to spin off the circuit. The British driver received a drive-through penalty for the incident, which eventually left him in ninth position.

Vettel's luck was also tested as both he, Webber and Alonso pitted at the same time, with yet another slow Red Bull pit stop closing the gap between the top three drivers.

During the latter stages of the race, Webber managed to close the gap between himself and Vettel to 5.5 seconds, putting in faster sector times than the German in many cases. The final ten laps also saw the arrival of rain, prompting some teams to re-think their tyre strategies yet again. 

However, Vettel managed to maintain his lead despite the gathering rain to take home the final win of the season. The 26-year-old driver also recorded his ninth straight victory, equalling a record set by legendary driver Alberto Ascari, and also matching a record set by Michael Schumacher for 13 wins in a single season.

Speaking on the podium, Mark Webber said the race was "a good end" to his F1 career, and thanked his team and supporters for "playing a special role" in his racing journey.

Results (provisional)

Brazilian Grand Prix, 24 November 2013

1. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)

2. Mark Webber (Red Bull)

3. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)

4. Jensen Button (McLaren)

5. Nico Rosberg (McLaren)

6. Sergio Perez (Mercedes)

7. Felipe Massa (Ferrari)

8. Nico Hulkenberg (Sauber)

9. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

10. Daniel Ricciardo (Torro Rosso)

Join the debate

Comments
3

25 November 2013
First thing,why is it that Joe Saward your F1 guy seems to do little on reporting on F1 races?, Indeed I find out more by reading the Daily Mail than by reading Autocar,Johathan McEvoy their F1 guy is very good indeed Please come back Alan we need you. The past year has been very bad for McLaren; they have lost main sponsor Vodafone,top driver( NOT the best) Lewis top designer Paddy Lowe and also signed an unproven driver Perez. On top of that team boss Whitmarsh seems not to know what the hell he is doing. I have to ask ,how long will it be before Whitmarsh is shown the door?.

25 November 2013
Yep, it is,a one team season,lets hope we don't get a repeat next year.

Peter Cavellini.

25 November 2013
McLaren meanwhile have tweeted something about being the only team to have every car classified in every race this year so presumably for them anyway this has been yet another world-beating, class-conquering, paradigm-busting season in which no-one else got a look in and certainly not that bloke who won all the races they lost.

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