Full throttle celebrations follow Vettel's win
BERLIN (AP) Germany is toasting Sebastian Vettel after the 25-year-old driver claimed his third straight Formula One championship title on Sunday.
Mass circulation daily newspaper Bild proclaimed Vettel a "race god" on Monday after the German became the sports youngest three-time champion.
On Sunday, Vettel's home town of Heppenheim in southwestern Germany became "Vettelheim" as around 2,000 fans gathered in front of giant screens to watch him finish sixth in the Brazilian Grand Prix, enough to clinch the title by three points from Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.
It prompted celebrations marked by cars honking their horns, customary beer showers, fireworks and flag-waving lasting long into the night.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Vettel had assured himself of "his place in history" and she congratulated him on his "marvelous nerves of steel."
Merkel added that she was particularly impressed with how he "fought back to win the title after a difficult start to the season."
Vettel is the first driver to win three titles in a row since compatriot Michael Schumacher won five straight from 2000-04.
Updated November 26, 2012