SAO PAULO – Sebastian Vettel overcame a first-lap crash Sunday to capture his third straight Formula One championship.
He finished sixth in the Brazilian Grand Prix, which won by Jenson Button, and at 25 became the youngest three-time champion in Formula One.
Vettel held off Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, the only other driver contending for the title. Alonso had a superb start on a hectic first lap at Interlagos. He finished second but that wasn't enough to erase Vettel's lead in the standings.
Lewis Hamilton was leading in his final race with McLaren when Nico Hulkenberg crashed into him while trying to pass on a slippery track with 17 laps left. Michael Schumacher, F1's most successful driver, finished seventh in his final race after 19 seasons.
The race finished behind the safety car after Paul Di Resta crashed.