ABU DHABI, November 14 – German Sebastian Vettel was crowned as the youngest drivers champion in Formula One history on Sunday when he outstripped all his rivals and won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for the outstanding Red Bull team.
At 23 years and 106 days, Vettel took the title with a faultless drive from pole position to the chequered flag, resisting a strong challenge from Briton Lewis Hamilton of McLaren, who in 2008 had achieved the same feat at the age of 23 and 307 days.
Hamilton came home second after a long period of frustration behind Pole Robert Kubica’s Renault and was followed home by his team-mate and compatriot Jenson Button, the outgoing 2009 champion.
It was Vettel’s 10th career win – his fifth of the season – and came from his 15th pole.
Finn Keke Rosberg came home fourth for Mercedes on a day when his 41-year-old team-mate and compatriot Michael Schumacher had been forced to retire following a big accident on the opening lap.
Kubica came fifth ahead of his team-mate Russian Vitaly Petrov of Renault with two times champion Spaniard Alonso of Ferrari back in seventh place, failing to deliver the result, after a disappointing early pit stop, and the points he needed to maintain his championship lead and take the title.
Vettel ended up with 256 points to take the title ahead of Alonso on 252, Australian Mark Webber, his Red Bull team-mate, on 242, and Hamilton on 240. Webber came in eighth behind Alonso after a difficult and disappointing race.