As the dust settled on the furious action in the closing laps, Vettel was joined on the podium by Alonso and by Raikkonen, who'd pulled off a quite remarkable recovery from 13th on the grid despite his back issues. Rosberg, Hamilton and Massa benefited from Webber's last-minute flame-out to take fourth, fifth and sixth while Button ended up in sixth place ahead of his team mate Sergio Perez who was followed across the line by Nico Hulkenberg and Adrian Sutil, who clinched the final point in tenth ahead of Pastor Maldonado, Esteban Gutierrez, Valtteri Bottas and Jean-Eric Verge, with Webber ultimately credited in 15th a lap down ahead of the two Caterhams and both Marussias who all made it to the finish without retirements.
Vettel's utter superiority meant that the race result was never in doubt almost from the very first corner of the race when he'd fought off Rosberg, but behind him there had been exceptional performances as well from Alonso and Raikkonen together with a thrilling battle of strategies sparked by the mid-race safety car that had really brought things alive just when interest had threatened to wane.
Ultimately, though, the day belonged to Vettel and to Red Bull, who jointly take another big leap forward to the seemingly inevitable fourth double world championship which can't be too far away now even as F1 heads to Korea in two weeks time.
See full race results