Nov. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Red Bull’s Mark Webber won the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix for his first Formula One victory of 2011, with teammate and world champion Sebastian Vettel taking the second spot in Sao Paulo.
McLaren driver Jenson Button was third yesterday and will finish as runner-up to Vettel in the drivers’ championship.
“It’s an important win for me and the team to finish on a high,” Webber told reporters. “I felt good all weekend.”
Vettel had started in pole position for a record 15th time in a season, beating the previous record of Nigel Mansell set in 1992 when there were 16 events. This year there were 19 races.
The German made a clean start, with Webber retaining second, but Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was able to split the McLaren drivers as he slipped into fourth ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Alonso then went around the outside of Button on lap 11 to take third.
Red Bull confirmed a gearbox problem for Vettel on the 14th of 71 laps, but he was still able to maintain a competitive pace and manage the situation.
He did, though, allow Webber to take the lead of lap 31 and comfortably held second spot even as Button mounted a late charge.
“It was a real shame as I had a good start and a very good feeling,” Vettel said. “But nevertheless Mark drove a fantastic race and he deserved to win.”
Hamilton also had problems with his gearbox that eventually led the Briton to make his first retirement of the year.
Button secured third spot as he surged past Alonso with nine laps to go. Alonso, his teammate Felipe Massa, Force India’s Adrian Sutil, Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, Force India’s Paul di Resta, Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi and Renault’s Vitaly Petrov also won points.
Vettel finishes the season with 392 points, Button 270, Webber 258, Alonso 257 and Hamilton 227.
--Editor: Christopher Elser
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