Things didn't start out well for the 25-year-old F1 star in São Paulo, after he was involved in a crash early on. Clawing his way back from the back of the pack, Vettel managed sixth place – just enough to beat rival Fernando Alonso for the title.
“At the moment you could stab me and I wouldn't notice it,” said the happy Hessian Red Bull driver after securing the championship. “It was an unbelievable race all things considered.”
As he and his team celebrated, Vettel received plaudits from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, national football stars Mesut Özil and Lukas Podolski, as well as tennis legend Boris Becker.
But his first congratulations from the all-time German F1 champion Michael Schumacher, who retired from the sport after the race in Brazil.
“I am very proud of him, I'm insanely happy for him. It's a beautiful moment to clear the stage for him,” said Schumacher.