Sebastian Vettel won his fourth consecutive world drivers’ championship in fine style, carving his way through the field after starting on the fast wearing softer option tyre to win his third successive Indian Grand Prix from Nico Rosberg and Romain Grosjean.
It looked like it would be yet another Red Bull 1-2 but the unfortunate Mark Webber was forced to retire with an alternator problem late in the race. Even so, Vettel’s win means that Red Bull also wrap up the constructors’ title.
Vettel’s win means he becomes the youngest four-time champion in history and he joins Michael Schumacher, Juan Manuel Fangio and Alain Prost as a four-time champion.
Vettel led away from the lights but had to come in after only the second lap to switch to the harder prime tyre but he picked his way expertly through the traffic to close up on teammate Mark Webber and was soon ahead after Webber stopped for the final time.
A tight finish between the Red Bull teammates looked on with the gap down to 13 seconds but the Australian’s retirement on lap 40 meant that Vettel could relax until the finish.
Behind Vettel the fight for places was as intense as ever, Raikkonen holding second until his tyres grained badly in the final ten laps, first Rosberg then teammate Grosjean fighting their way past as the Finn was forced into a late stop on the penultimate lap.
Third place for Grosjean marked a third successive podium finish but it was all the more remarkable considering he started a lowly 17th on the grid and stopped only once.
Felipe Massa boosted his chances of a race seat in 2014 by finishing fifth ahead of the impressive Sergio Perez as Lewis Hamilton beat Raikkonen to sixth.
For Fernando Alonso, however, it was not to be his day as first lap contact with Jenson Button forced him to pit for a new front wing and he eventually finished down in 11th.