“I always said this championship would have another twist,” the 37-year-old went on. “It's down to what happens on the circuit – and that's the way it should be. The first time Sebastian has led it has been right at the end. It's a team effort and ultimately Sebastian prevailed. I'm very proud of what Sebastian has done.
“Both drivers can be very proud – they both took it into the last race. [Vettel] has had his ups-and-downs, he's had a few engine issues here and there, but he has never lost faith and he has stuck at it – and he's triumphed in the end. It's been a very emotional and unbelievable week for all concerned.”
When asked how he would rate Vettel alongside the world champions he has worked with in the past at Williams and McLaren-Mercedes, meanwhile, Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey reflected: “The things I would say are common with all the great drivers. Obviously natural talent – that goes without saying – but then having that underlying grit and determination, and having a good brain, and Sebastian combines that very well. If you have that combination, winning a championship hopefully becomes a matter of time.”