15 Nov 2010

New world champion Vettel makes F1 history

6:08 am on 15 November 2010

The German Sebastian Vettel has become Formula One's youngest world champion after outstripping his rivals to win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

At 23 years and 106 days, Vettel took the title with a faultless drive from pole position to take the chequered flag by 10 seconds, holding off a strong challenge from Lewis Hamilton, whose McLaren teammate and last year's world champion Jenson Button was third.

Pre-race series leader and two-time champion Fernando Alonso of Ferrari and Vettel's Australian team-mate Mark Webber fell out of contention for the title when they emerged from early pit stops well down the field.

Vettel won the championship by four points from Alonso who was 7th in Abu Dhabi, and Webber and Hamilton finished third and fourth in the championship.

Red Bull's team principal Christian Horner says it was an extremely emotional week for the team, and he praised Vettel for doing it when it counted, taking the lead in the world championship for the first time in the deciding race of the season.