The Red Bull driver crowned a dominant season by winning his 10th race of the year, and sixth in a row, to help his team win the constructors' title and become the joint-third most successful driver in the sport's history.
Vettel told reporters: "First of all I would to thank the crowd for an unbelievable reception, I am speechless and I was empty when I crossed the line. I spent ages thinking what to say, there is so much you want to say at a time like that. It is a pleasure to jump in the car and go out and drive for the guys and give it all I have. The car was phenomenal today and has been phenomenal all season to be honest.
"I want to say a big thank you to everyone who is behind the team, it has not been an easy season. From the outside people will think it was easy but it wasn't. It has been hard for me in particular, to be booed when I have not done anything wrong was hard but I think I answered the things on the track which I am very pleased about. I am overwhelmed, I don't know what to say but it is the best day of my life so far.
"When I started to race, Formula 1 seemed so far away but there are so many people I have to thank along the way from karting to here. I was taught so many things and I have always tried to listen but to come out on top of this incredibly talented field is amazing. I am not old yet but I am getting older and maybe I am not grasping it yet. Maybe in 10 years time I will look back and realise the enormity."