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Race - Vettel victorious, Webber bows out with second 24 Nov 2013

Race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing and Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing celebrate on the podium with the champagne
Formula One World Championship, Rd19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, 24 November 2013 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W04 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9 lead at the start of the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, 24 November 2013 Romain Grosjean's final race of the season for Lotus goes up in smoke on lap four There is drama on track as the Williams of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes clash. Hamilton receives a drive-through penalty for causing a collision Sebastian Vettel pits for fresh tyres but the Red Bull team have Mark Webber's tyres ready instead and the race leader loses time Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9 arrives in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, 24 November 2013 Race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9 performs donuts.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, 24 November 2013

Sebastian Vettel took his ninth consecutive win - and 13th overall in 2013 - at the final race of the season in Brazil on Sunday, as Red Bull team mate Mark Webber ended his F1 career with second place.

Vettel had built a 13.1s lead over the outgoing Webber when he made his second pit stop on the 47th lap, amid confusion caused by a collision between Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Williams’ Valtteri Bottas. For once Red Bull weren’t ready for their man, and he lost half his advantage waiting for his crew to rush the new rubber from the garage. But Webber was stacked behind him and didn’t benefit as much as he might have.

The Australian had been only fifth at the end of the opening lap as Nico Rosberg briefly sprinted his Mercedes into the lead before being overtaken by Vettel, and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton also went by. Neither Mercedes had the legs to stay in front, and Alonso succumbed to Webber on the 13th lap. But in the confusion of that second stop - caused by Red Bull wanting to preempt the potential arrival of a safety car - Webber’s delay allowed the Ferrari back into second place again. Webber dealt with that on the 48th lap, and then bravely kept Vettel honest for a long time.

As gentle rain began to fall intermittently in the closing stages everyone was on their mettle, but Vettel gradually began to edge away again and was 10.4s ahead of Webber at the flag with Alonso a further 8.4s down the road after another forceful run. Webber toured back to the pits for the last time without his helmet on, whilst Vettel performed celebratory donuts in front of the main grandstand.

It was a tough day for Mercedes. Rosberg quickly faded with oversteer, but for some time Hamilton seemed set for fourth after passing his team mate on the 11th lap. But then he clipped the left-rear wheel of Bottas’ Williams as he was lapping it. The Finn spun into retirement with a broken wheel, while Hamilton lost time limping back to the pits with a punctured right-rear tyre, then had to serve a drive-through penalty for causing the collision. The incident dropped him from fourth to an eventual ninth, and lost him third place in the driver’s world championship to Webber. Mercedes did, however, maintain their second place over Ferrari in the constructors’ championship.

Jenson Button and Sergio Perez ran brilliantly for McLaren to take fourth and sixth places from 14th and 19th on the grid respectively, sandwiching Rosberg, while Felipe Massa raced strongly ahead of Hamilton in his final race for Ferrari before dropping from fourth to eighth with a drive-through penalty for crossing the white lines on pit entry on the 19th lap. He finished seventh, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg who brought Sauber eighth place after fending off Hamilton in the closing stages. Daniel Ricciardo completed the points scorers for Toro Rosso, with the Force Indias of Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil sandwiching Esteban Gutierrez’s Sauber; they finished 0.5s and 0.3s apart.

Romain Grosjean was an early retirement for Lotus with a spectacular engine failure, and Lotus’s Heikki Kovalainen had a hugely disappointing run to 14th ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso; the Frenchman however is under investigation after tapping Pastor Maldonado’s Williams into a spin late in the race. Maldonado was 16th, ahead of Marussia’s Jules Bianchi who led home Caterham’s Giedo van der Garde and his Marussia team mate Max Chilton. Joining Grosjean and Bottas on the retirements list was Caterham’s Charles Pic, who suffered an apparent suspension failure which left the constructor in 11th place overall.

The final championship positions saw Vettel with 397 to Alonso’s 242, Webber’s 199, Hamilton’s 189 and the absent Kimi Raikkonen’s 183, while Red Bull’s final constructors; tally was 596 to Mercedes’ 360, Ferrari’s 354, Lotus’s 315, McLaren’s 122, Force India’s 77 and Sauber’s 57.

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