German Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel has secured his fourth straight world title with a first place finish at the Indian Grand Prix. He becomes just the fourth person to win four career drivers championships.
Coming into Sunday's race, Vettel's fourth straight world title was more or less already a done deal, but he needed one more finish in point scoring to make it official. His first place finish in India means he has secured this year's title with three races to spare.
The 26-year-old Vettel becomes the youngest driver in Formula One history to win four titles.
"I'm speechless," Vettel said in an interview from the podium. "I crossed the line, I was empty. It's one of these moments you wish to say so many things, but you can't."
Cruising to victory
Vettel won in New Delhi from pole position and has now won his sixth straight race of the current season.
Mercedes' Niko Rosberg and Romain Grosjean from Lotus rounded out the podium in second and third, respectively.
Vettel's closest competitor in the standings, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, finished the race in 11th place and remains 115 points adrift of the champion.
Mark Webber, Vettel's Red Bull teammate, had to drop out of the race in the second half because of alternator issues. Despite losing points Red Bull likely would have gained with Webber's finish, the team was also able to secure the constructor's championship as well.
Among the legends
Vettel joins just three other drivers who have won four or more F1 titles.
Argentina's Juan Manuel Fangio was the first to do it in the 1950s, winning a total of five, including four in a row from 1954 to 1957.
France's Alain Prost won his fourth title in 1993 after winning the first three in the latter half of the 1980s.
Vettel's German countryman Michael Schumacher holds the record for Formula One titles with seven. He also holds the record for drivers' championships in a row with five, won between 2000 and 2004.
"To join people like Prost, Fangio and Michael is unbelievable," Vettel said.