Sebastian Vettel admitted it was an unbelievable feeling to secure a third F1 title in succession after a dramatic season finale at Interlagos.
The Red Bull driver went into the race with a 13 point lead over Fernando Alonso in the standings but was forced to use all his skill to come from the back of the field with a damaged car after being tipped into a spin by Bruno Senna on the opening lap.
In challenging wet conditions after a series of showers hit the Sao Paulo circuit, the German was able to climb up to sixth place by the finish which was enough to give him the crown despite Fernando Alonso finishing in second place.
It means Vettel now enters the history books at the youngest triple champion in the history of the sport and he was delighted to have emerged on top after an action-packed finale.
"It is difficult to imagine what goes through my head now even for myself!” he said. “I am full of adrenaline and if you poke me now I wouldn't feel it. It was an incredible race. When you get turned around at Turn Four for no reason and it becomes like heading the wrong way down the M25 it is not the most comfortable feeling. I was lucky no-one hit me but the car was damaged and we lost a lot of speed, especially when it dried up. Fortunately it started to rain again and I felt so much happier.
"It is unbelievable but the most important thing is that throughout the season we always kept believing in ourselves. A lot of people tried to play dirty tricks but we did not get distracted by that and kept going our way and all the guys gave a big push right to the end. We stepped up our game in the second half of the season, which allowed us to come back in this championship. I have to thank all the team because there is no-one in our team more important than the next person. We are all a group and fighting next to each other and not against each other. I am very proud of that. It is unbelievable."
The German added that emotion had got the better of him on his slowing down lap as the reality of his success sunk in.
“To win that third title here, where one of my greatest idols Ayrton Senna was from; it is very difficult to imagine that I join him and other great names by winning three successive titles,” he said. “My radio was not working, I was crying and you didn't hear that and I am very happy about that. I just can't find the right words to describe how I feel right now."