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F1 champ Vettel joins greats

Sebastian Vettel became Formula One's youngest four-time world champion on Sunday.

INDIA, NEW DELHI : Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel (C) of Germany hoisted by Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg (2L) of Germany and Lotus driver Romain Grosjean (R) of France pats Red Bull Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey (L) after winning the Formula One Indian Grand Prix 2013 at the Buddh International circuit in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi on October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/Indranil MUKHERJEE

GREATER NOIDA, India - Germany's Sebastian Vettel became Formula One's youngest four-times world champion on Sunday after winning the Indian Grand Prix for Red Bull.

Red Bull also took the constructors' championship for the fourth year in a row.

The victory from pole position was the 26-year-old's sixth in a row and completed a hat-trick of wins in India where no other driver has ever won since the race made its debut in 2011.

Vettel becomes the fourth quadruple champion and only the third driver to win four titles in a row after Germany's seven-times champion Michael Schumacher and the late Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio.

The German celebrated by adding some tyre smoke to the haze hanging over the Buddh International circuit, slowing the car on the pit straight and then spinning it around with some 'donuts' for the fans.

He got out, standing up on the car before crouching to kiss the front in a gesture of worship. Throwing his gloves into the grandstand, Vettel clambered over the pitwall to embrace Horner and designer Adrian Newey.

"How do I feel? I'm overwhelmed. One of the best days of my life so far," he said in a podium interview alongside Rosberg and third-placed Frenchman Romain Grosjean who had roared through from 17th on the grid for Lotus.

"I am speechless and I was empty when I crossed the line. I spent ages thinking what to say, there is so much you want to say at a time like that.

NO EASY SEASON

"It has not been an easy season. From the outside people will think it was easy but it wasn't. It has been hard for me in particular to be booed when I have not done anything wrong," added Vettel.

The boos that marked some of his earlier wins were absent on Sunday, with the German's title a foregone conclusion and the crowd happy to witness history in the making.

He had led Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, the only man who could put his celebrations on hold, by 90 points before the start with three races remaining - worth a maximum 75 - after India.

Vettel now has 322 to Alonso's 207.

Alonso needed to finish in the top two but his hopes evaporated at the start when he tagged the rear of the Red Bull driven by Vettel's team mate, Australian Mark Webber, and had to pit for a new front wing before rejoining the race in 20th place.

The Spaniard finished out of the points in 11th spot while Webber, who led for much of the early part of the race after starting on the longer-lasting medium tyre, retired on lap 40 with an alternator problem.

"I still have a smile on my face, there's nothing more I could do today," said Webber.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa finished fourth with Mexican Sergio Perez fifth for McLaren in his best result of the year.

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