SAO PAULO – 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 equaling 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 and Mexico’s Sergio Perez finished sixth after starting 19th in his final race with McLaren.
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, took his helmet off as he returned to the pits and waved to the crowd. The team wrote “Awesome. Thank you Mark,” on the pit sign as the Australian crossed the line.
Webber 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 42 times in 215 starts. His second place on Sunday allowed him to finish third in the drivers’ standings.