It's admittedly not the world championship that he so desperately worked so hard for over the course of a 12-year career in F1, but there was at least some consolation for Mark Webber as he clinched third position in his final world championship season, second place in the Brazilian Grand Prix enough to vault him past both Lewis Hamilton and the absent Kimi Raikkonen.
Webber had been in fifth coming into this weekend, but with Hamilton slumping to ninth place at Interlagos on Sunday the Australian was able to spring into third place in the final standings, ten points clear of Hamilton. The top two spots in the drivers championship has already been clinched by Sebastian Vettel (back in India) and Fernando Alonso (last week in Austin.)
Kimi Raikkonen drops to fifth place after being forced to take the final two races of the year off in order to have back surgery, and Nico Rosberg was simply too far back to take advantage of improving his own sixth place in the standings, far ahead of Romain Grosjean who was the earliest retirement in Sao Paulo on Sunday, but who had enough points in hand to ensure that he lost nothing in the final positions over Felipe Massa and Jenson Button.
A close-fought battle for the final place in the top ten was resolved in Nico Hulkenberg's favour despite the German only managing to claim eighth place this weekend. That was still enough to put him a couple of points ahead of Sergio Perez whose impressive comeback run from 19th place on the grid to finish in sixth place contributed to Paul di Resta dropping to 12th place in the final standings after the Sot failed to score points in Brazil.
In the constructors championship, Ferrari gained nine points on Mercedes in their private battle for the runners-up position behind runaway champions Red Bull, but that wasn't enough and Mercedes claim the 'best of the rest' honours by six points over Ferrari after drive-thru penalties for Massa and Hamilton essentially cancelled each other out. Lotus ended a long way off this battle in the end after Romain Grosjean's car went up in smoke just two laps into the Brazil GP and Heikki Kovalainen ended his brief stint at Enstone out of the points once again.
An unexpectedly strong finish to the season for the McLaren pair at Interlagos was a bog boost to the team although it made little difference to their position in the constructors battle, ending up a fairly lonely fifth place well ahead of Force India, which despite finishing out of the points for a second successive race was still easily 20 points ahead of Sauber in their battle for sixth place. Toro Rosso finished in eighth place, and Williams ended the season one place behind in ninth.
That left the battle of the wooden spoon at the back, although in this case it's not just a matter of pride but serious cash that goes with finishing in tenth place in the standings rather than eleventh and last.
This was decided by retirement from broken suspension for Caterham's Charles Pic in Brazil while his team mate Giedo van der Garde found himself the meat in a Marussia sandwich at the line, Jules Bianchi beating him to the line and Max Chilton finishing last but completing a remarkable full season without a single race retirement. That feat contributed to Marussia being credited with the tenth position in the team standings, and all the extra prize money that goes with that achievement.
See full 2013 world championship standings for drivers and constructors