Germany's Sebastian Vettel, driving for Red Bull, on Sunday won his third world Formula One championship by coming in sixth in the Brazilian Grand Prix, in which Spaniard Fernando Alonso came in in second place, not enough to wrest the overall point lead from his rival.

The winner of the last grand prix race of the season was Briton Jenson Button, with McLaren, who came in ahead of the two Ferrari teammembers, the 31-year-old Alonso and Brazil's Felipe Massa.

In a race substantially complicated by intermittent rain at the Interlagos Raceway, Alonso's second-place finish gave him 278 overall points, 3 points behind Vettel.

The 25-year-old German reasserted for the third straight year his dominance on the Formula One circuit - becoming the youngest driver ever to do so - in a race where he once again overcame the numerous problems that cropped up to plague him.

On the first lap, Vettel found himself in last place due to an incident with Brazil's Bruno Senna, driving for Williams, but later he was able to deal effectively with the weather conditions to fight his way back to sixth, a good-enough finish to retain the lead in points he had going into the race.

Alonso also had a good race, moving up in the rankings from seventh to second but ultimately missing the title by a hair.

The track in Sao Paulo is where Alonso celebrated his F1 titles in 2005 and 2006, but he has never won the Brazilian Grand Prix.EFE