GREATER NOIDA, India — Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel claimed his fourth straight Formula One championship Sunday after turning in a trademark clinical performance to win the Indian Grand Prix.
Starting from pole, Vettel dominated the Buddh International Circuit to join F1 greats Juan Miguel Fangio and Michael Schumacher as just the third driver to win four consecutive championships. The only other driver to win four championships was Alain Prost.
“You've won it in style,” an elated Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told Vettel over the car radio immediately after the race. “Brilliant stuff. You've joined the greats.”
Vettel finished almost 30 seconds ahead of second placed Nico Rosberg in a Mercedes, with Lotus driver Romain Grosjean taking his second straight third place after starting from 17th on the grid.
After taking the checkered flag, Vettel performed several donuts on the track before climbing from his car, acknowledging the crowd and kneeling with his head bowed to the track. He then climbed the pit lane fence to embrace members of his team.
“I'm overwhelmed, don't know what to say,” he said immediately after the race. “It is one of the best days of my life.
“I think back about where I started, when F1 was so far away. I have so many people to thank from go-carting to junior categories of F1,” he added. “I always tried to listen, learn. It has been incredible to compete against the best, it is a very tough field, and come out on top of the world.”
With Vettel's win, Red Bull has also claimed its fourth straight constructor's title, despite losing Mark Webber to mechanical problems while in second place.
Ferrari's Felipe Massa was fourth with teammate Fernando Alonso finishing a disappointing 11th.
Vettel, at 26 the youngest driver to win four world titles, has now won 10 races this season, including the last six. He has won all three Indian GP races from pole.