Perfection: Vettel rivals hail world champion

BRITAIN’S Lewis Hamilton led the tributes to Sebastian Vettel’s “perfect” season after the Red Bull driver became the youngest man to successfully defend the World Championship.

Hamilton’s McLaren team-mate Jenson Button won yesterday’s Japanese Grand Prix but 24-year-old Vettel’s third place was enough to clinch the title with four races still remaining.

“It was perfection,” said Hamilton. “It’s a fantastic achievement. We all knew he was going to do it and it was a perfect season.”

Button, who clashed with the German over an attempted pass at the start, added: “Sebastian this year has been phenomenal and he totally deserves the world championship here. He hasn’t really made any mistakes this year.”

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who is also among nine drivers to have won back-to-back titles, called Vettel’s campaign “supreme, with no mistakes at all and very dominant victories all through the season.”

The Spaniard added: “He drove perfectly in all races and qualifying in all conditions, wet or dry.”

Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher said: “I feel very excited and happy for him.”