SAO PAULO, Nov 25, 2012 (AFP) - Sebastian Vettel was rendered almost speechless after a nailbiting Brazilian Grand Prix, which saw his sixth place finish after an early collision just enough to deny Fernando Alonso the title to complete his own hat-trick.
"This is really special. Right to the end I didn't know if I'd done enough. Trundling along behind the safety car and then dragging over the line was just torture," Vettel gasped after the Red Bull driver won a third straight title at the age of just 25, having finished three points clear of Ferrari's Alonso.
Regarding his opening lap collision which so nearly wrecked his race Vettel said: "I just kept trying to race. We always believed.
"I don't know what more to say -- it was a crazy race," Vettel said. "We could hardly have had more obstacles to overcome" after the rain made conditions treacherous.
Retiring seven-time champion, and Vettel mentor, Michael Schumacher praised his compatriot.
"I am very proud of Seb. I am very happy for him and it's good to leave the field open to him for further future success," said Schumacher, who just raced for last time in a Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Both Germans embraced at 'parc ferme' with an enthusiastic Schumacher congratulating his fellow contryman for his achievement.