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Sebastian Vettel races to Formula One world championship

German Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel has become the sport's youngest champion after winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The perfectly executed race caps a successful season for Vettel and his Red Bull team.

Sebastian Vettel

Vettel's win caps off a successful season for Red Bull

Germany's Sebastian Vettel has become Formula One racing's youngest champion after a win from pole position at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix pushed him to the top of the drivers' standings.

Coming into the race, Vettel was in third place in the standings behind his Red Bull teammate Mark Webber and Ferarri's Fernando Alonso, who was in first place coming into Abu Dhabi.

But Alonso finished seventh and Webber finished eighth in Abu Dhabi, clearing the way for Vettel to move to the top of the standings thanks to a flawless race. Alonso finished the season in second place, follow by Webber in third and Britain's Lewis Hamilton in fourth.

At 23 years and 134 days old, Vettel becomes the youngest Formula One champion in history, a distinction previously held by Hamilton, who won in 2008 at the age of 23 years and 307 days.

Schumacher crashes out

While Vettel celebrated his first Formula One world title, his German compatriot Michael Schumacher - a seven time winner - ended his comeback season on a disappointing note.

Schumacher and Liuzzi

Schumacher, left, and Liuzzi walked back to the pits together after the crash

In the first lap of the race, Schumacher spun out and narrowly escaped injury when Force India driver Vitantonio Liuzzi then collided with Schumacher and came to rest on top of Schumacher's cockpit.

Schumacher walked away from the crash and waved to fans after climbing out of the car.

The return of Schumacher after a three-year hiatus was largely disappointing, as the Formula One veteran never finished higher than fourth place for Mercedes.

However, Schumacher's second half of the season was decidedly better than the first, and the 41-year-old insists he'll be fighting for the championship next year.

Author: Matt Zuvela (Reuters, dpa)

Editor: Sean Sinico

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