Sebastian Vettel rode a heartstopping rollercoaster of a Brazilian Grand Prix en route to becoming the youngest three-time Formula One world champion.
The race at Interlagos proved to be one of the most dramatic in the sport's history as the destiny of the title swung one way and then the other between Red Bull star and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.
The conditions played havoc, resulting in a catalogue of incidents, not least Vettel dropping to last place after the first few corners following a collision with Williams' Bruno Senna but through drizzle, light rain, then heavy rain, multiple pit stops, it was Vettel who emerged the man, coming home sixth to finish three points ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.
The 31-year-old Spaniard could do no better than second behind race winner Jenson Button, his third victory of the season as McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton crashed out in his final race for the marque.
From fourth on the grid, Vettel was relatively slow away and through the Senna curves the German had dropped to ninth. The danger was obvious and it soon materialised as he was tagged by Bruno Senna, sending him into a spin and facing the wrong way.
Vettel was fortunate none of those he could see approaching him ran into his car, allowing him to spin his way back on to the track, but running at the back of the pack. Vettel believed at the time he would have to return to the pits, his voice seemingly cracking with emotion, perhaps fearing his hopes of history were disappearing.
Sensationally, after six laps as pandemonium exploded all over the track given the greasy conditions with light rain falling, Vettel was back up to eighth.
Lewis Hamilton's McLaren career came to a sad end as he suffered a broken front-left suspension as Nico Hulkenberg slid into him into turn one as they came up behind backmarkers.
That allowed Button to take a lead he held on to through to the end, and whilst Alonso passed Massa for second, it was not enough given Vettel was seventh at the time, which soon became sixth when the retiring for a second time Michael Schumacher allowed him by with a few laps remaining.
At the end of lap 70 Force India's Paul di Resta spun in the heavy rain, crashing into a wall on the final turn, so bringing out the safety car for a second time and effectively ending the race.