Abu Dhabi: "Sebastian you are the world champion, the world champion" were the words that brought tears to Sebastian Vettel's eyes after he won Sunday's Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The German, who won here last year, was almost flawless as he blazed away to victory ahead of another title contender Lewis Hamilton with hitherto leader Fernando Alonso finishing 7th and Vettel's teammate 8th. Defending champion Jenson Button finished third.
By becoming the youngest champion after winning the title from Alonso by four points, Vettel just could not conceal his delight, jumping and waving before the German national anthem restored order.
The finals points tally for the 2010 Drivers' Championship saw Vettel with 256 points, Alonso with 252, Webber (242) and Hamilton (240).
Vettel's win also completed a grand double for the fledgling Red Bull Racing team, which won the Constructors Championship in the penultimate race in Brazil.
The race got off to a dramatic start when seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher escaped unhurt after Vitantonio Liuzzi in his Force India car piled onto the Mercedes GP driver.
The incident occurred after Schumacher was spun around by his teammate Nico Rosberg. Fortunately, both were unharmed.
By then Button had passed Alonso and when the race restarted on lap six, the battle was well and truly won.
However, it was Webber who suffered the first setback to his title hopes when he scraped the barrier in lap eight and was soon after struggling, over nine seconds off Vettel the leader. He pitted in the 11th lap but after that despite a late surge was always behind Alonso.
Vettel, on the other hand, was getting better and he set the fastest lap in the 26th lap.
In fact after 28 laps with the temperature dipping below 30 degrees Celsius, Vettel's hopes began to increase.
With 15 laps to go Vettel was in sight of the championship as he led Kubica who was yet to pit with the must-win Hamilton in third and Alonso and Webber in 8th and 9th respectively.
If it had stayed that way and with Kubica and Sutil not take a pit stop, Alonso would been 6th.
Tensions mounting, Alonso was urged on the radio to go past Petrov who was in sizzling form but Vettel's closest rival for the title was still in 7th position with five laps to go.
Red Bull team boss and his men were praying — eyes closed — as their German star closed in on the title.
There was no miracle for Hamilton, no movement upwards for Alonso from 7th place and it was a bad day at the ‘office' for Webber as Vettel proved he is still King of Yas Marina.
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix:
1. Sebastian Vettel (GER/Red Bull) 1hr 39min 36.837 2. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/McLaren) at 10.162sec 3. Jenson Button (GBR/McLaren) 11.047 4. Nico Rosberg (GER/Mercedes GP) 30.747 5. Robert Kubica (POL/Renault) 39.026 6. Vitaly Petrov (RUS/Renault) 43.520, 7. Fernando Alonso (ESP/Ferrari) 43.797 8. Mark Webber (AUS/Red Bull) 44.243 9. Jaime Alguersuari (ESP/Toro Rosso) 50.201, 10. Felipe Massa (BRA/Ferrari) 50.868 11. Nick Heidfeld (GER/Sauber) 51.551 12. Rubens Barrichello (BRA/Williams F1) 57.686 13. Adrian Sutil (GER/Force India) 58.325 14. Kamui Kobayashi (JPN/Sauber) 59.558 15. Sebastien Buemi (SUI/Toro Rosso) 1min 03.178sec 16. Nico Hulkenberg (GER/Williams F1) 1:04.763 17. Heikki Kovalainen (FIN/Lotus) 1 lap 18. Lucas Di Grassi (BRA/Virgin Racing) 2 laps 19. Bruno Senna (BRA/Hispania) 2 laps 20. Christian Klien (AUT/Hispania) 2 laps 21. Jarno Trulli (ITA/Lotus) 4 laps
Did not finish
Michael Schumacher (GER/Mercedes GP): accident 2nd lap, Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA/Force India): accident 2nd lap, Timo Glock (GER/Virgin Racing): mechanical problem 44th lap
Final overall standings:
1. Sebastian Vettel (GER) 256 pts 2. Fernando Alonso (ESP) 252 3. Mark Webber (AUS) 242 4. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) 240 5. Jenson Button (GBR) 214 6. Felipe Massa (BRA) 144 7. Nico Rosberg (GER) 142.0, 8. Robert Kubica (POL) 136 9. Michael Schumacher (GER) 72 10. Rubens Barrichello (BRA) 47 11. Adrian Sutil (GER) 47 12. Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) 32 13. Vitaly Petrov (RUS) 27 14. Nico Hulkenberg (GER) 22 15. Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) 21 16. Sebastien Buemi (SWI) 8 17. Pedro de la Rosa (ESP) 6 18. Nick Heidfeld (GER) 6 19. Jaime Alguersuari (ESP) 5
1. Red Bull 498pts 2. McLaren 454 3. Ferrari 396 4. Mercedes GP 214 5. Renault 163 6. Williams F1 69 7. Force India 68 8. Sauber 44 9. Toro Rosso 13