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Vettel extends streaks as he winsFormula One season finale

Sebastian Vettel won Formula One’s season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday, matching Michael Schumacher’s series record of 13 victories in a year and equaling the nine consecutive F1 victories of Alberto Ascari from 1952 to 1953

Vettel’s Red Bull teammate, Mark Webber, was second in his final F1 race. Fernando Alonso of Ferrari was third.

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German Vettel, who had already wrapped up a fourth straight F1 title, was overtaken by Nico Rosberg of Mercedes at the start but regained the lead on the second lap and cruised to his second victory in Brazil, and 39th of his career. He crossed the line 10.4 seconds in front of Webber.

“I think it is very difficult for me to realize, probably now and in the next couple of weeks, what we have achieved again, and in particular this year at the end of the season,” Vettel said. “At the end of the day, as I see it now, it’s just a number. But hopefully one day, when I’ve got less hair and (I’m) chubby, then it’s probably something nice to look back.”

Jenson Button was fourth for McLaren’s best finish of the season. Rosberg was fifth.

“Yes, we did it,” Vettel said on his radio before his now-traditional doughnut celebration.

The victory capped an impressive campaign by Vettel, who had already surpassed Schumacher’s 2004 mark of seven straight in the same season last week at the United States GP. Vettel matched the 13 victories by Schumacher that same year. The 26-year-old Vettel clinched this year’s title at the Indian GP, becoming the youngest driver to win four world championships.

Webber, who had won two of the last four races in Brazil, took his helmet off as he returned to the pits and waved to the crowd. The team wrote “Awesome. Thank you Mark,” on the pit sign as the Australian crossed the line.

“It was a good finish to my career,” he said. “It was a great journey. I’ll enjoy watching F1 next year.”

Webber will be joining Porsche in a sports-car series in 2014. The 37-year-old spent 12 seasons in Formula One, winning nine times and reaching the podium 42 times in 215 starts.

Mercedes held on to second place in the constructors’ championship, finishing ahead of Ferrari and Lotus. Red Bull was the champion.


Ex-Detroit shortstop Peralta agrees to terms with Cardinals

Free-agent shortstop Jhonny Peralta and the St. Louis Cardinals have agreed on a four-year contract worth at least $52 million, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Peralta, 31, batted .303 and had a .457 slugging percentage this year for the Detroit Tigers.

The Cardinals filled a need by getting a top-hitting shortstop a month after losing the World Series in six games to Boston. St. Louis shortstops Pete Kozma and Daniel Descalso, while generally good fielders, are light hitters.

“Jhonny is among the game’s top offensive shortstops, he’s a steady defender and he has experience playing for a contender,” Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said in a statement.

Peralta was suspended 50 games last season as a result of Major League Baseball’s investigation in the Biogenesis case involving performance-enhancing drugs. He returned to the Tigers in late September and played in the postseason, both in left field and at shortstop.

Some big-league players were less than thrilled about Peralta’s new deal.

“It pays to cheat… Thanks, owners, for encouraging PED use,” Arizona pitcher Brad Ziegler tweeted.

“Apparently getting suspended for PED’s means you get a raise. What’s stopping anyone from doing it? #weneedtomakeachange,” tweeted free-agent pitcher David Aardsma, who played for the Mariners in 2009 and 2010.

Canadian Football League

Saskatchewan wins Grey Cup

Kory Sheets rushed for 197 yards and two touchdowns, leading the Saskatchewan Roughriders over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 45-23 in the 101st Grey Cup game — to the delight of a raucous hometown crowd of 44,710 in Regina.

Sheets was voted the game’s most valuable player.

Darian Durant threw three touchdown passes — two to Geroy Simon — as Saskatchewan won its fourth Grey Cup title and first since 2007.


• Defending World Cup champion Gregor Schlierenzauer of Austria refused to compete at the opening individual event of the ski-jumping season in protest against a decision to go ahead with the competition in windy conditions in Klingenthal, Germany.

Schlierenzauer and Anders Bardal of Norway left the tower after the start of the competition had been delayed by two hours and then interrupted several times.

The competition was halted after one heat, leaving Krzysztof Biegun of Poland as the winner with a jump of 142.5 meters.

• Ryan Lochte and Olympic and world champion Katie Ledecky won male and female athlete of the year at the Golden Goggles as USA Swimming honored top performers.

Seattle Times news services