Mike Stevens | Nov 15, 2010

Sebastian Vettel cried into his radio under the Abu Dhabi lights on Sunday as he crossed the finish line and became F1's youngest ever World Champion.

The 23-year-old German, now leading the standings for the very first time in his career, had entered the race as the underdog, behind Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber in points and dogged all weekend with suggestions he should move over and let his teammate past.

But Vettel won commandingly from pole position, while a crucial strategy mistake triggered by an early safety car, and an unmoveable Vitaly Petrov in a Renault, left Ferrari's Alonso stranded in seventh place.

Spaniard Alonso let his emotions spill over as he gesticulated angrily at Russian Petrov after the chequered flag, but he later congratulated the new champion and said Petrov "drove very well" in defence.

Former long-time Championship leader Webber, meanwhile, finished the race just eighth and the Championship just third, and was emotional in his post-race interviews with the media.

Asked by the BBC if he will be back in 2011, he answered simply: "Yeah."

[GMM] [Vettel photo: Clive Mason / Getty Images]

 

Team Orders For Webber Would Have Cost Vettel Title: Marko

Sebastian Vettel's title triumph vindicates the decision not to impose team orders this season.

That is the view of Dr Helmut Marko, Red Bull's motor sport consultant who accepted the trophy on the podium after his young German charge became F1's youngest ever world champion.

Marko has been accused of favouring Vettel over Mark Webber in 2010, including by Red Bull not ordering the 23-year-old aside for his points-leading teammate in Brazil a week ago.

"If we had changed the positions in Brazil, Vettel would not be World Champion," said the Austrian in Abu Dhabi.

Indeed, Vettel's victory at Interlagos was worth seven points more than second place, and he beat Fernando Alonso to the Championship by just 4 points.

Meanwhile, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton intimated Red Bull had enjoyed "some extra help" on Sunday in the form of works Renault drivers Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov.

Red Bull's engine supplier and new sponsor is Renault, and in Abu Dhabi it was Kubica delaying Hamilton, and Petrov refusing to give way to Ferrari's Alonso.

"I guess that's what happens when you have a couple of other teammates," said Hamilton.

Russian Petrov, however, admitted he was disappointed by Alonso's apparent anger after the race.

"I'm here to race. I hope when he cools down he will realise that," he said.

[GMM]

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