Sebastian Vettel admitted that the best man had won after seeing his slim hopes of becoming F1 champion come to an end at Interlagos.
The Red Bull driver went into the Brazilian GP trailing Jenson Button by 16 points and his hopes of keeping the title fight alive into the season finale in Abu Dhabi took a major hit when he failed to make it past the first phase of qualifying.
Putting that issue to one side however, Vettel produced an impressive drive on race day as he came through the field to finish in fourth place, although Button followed him home in fifth to secure the drivers' crown.
“I think there is a guy at Brawn who is happier than me today,” Vettel admitted at the finish. “All in all it was a good race - starting from the back and finishing fourth. We were helped by some people crashing, but I think fourth was the maximum we could do today. Without the problems in yesterday's qualifying, we could have won the race, but we didn't so there's not much more to say.
“I knew that Jenson was just ahead or behind me and would score points for the championship – but you don't really think about it until the last couple of laps. Before that you never know what can still happen. At one point I was praying for rain, there was the smell of rain, but it didn't come. Congratulations to Jenson and Brawn, I think they did the best job this year.”
Vettel's fourth place finish allowed him to jump ahead of Rubens Barrichello in the championship standings and he will take a two-point lead into the season finale in the fight for second place.