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A fourth-place finish will be enough on Sunday even if Alonso wins. And if the Ferrari driver is second, Vettel can clinch the title by crossing the line seventh or better. The German driver holds the tiebreaker because he has more wins than Alonso _ five to three.

Vettel has a chance to become the first driver to win three titles in a row since Schumacher won five straight from 2000-04. The only other driver to win at least three consecutive titles was Juan Manuel Fangio from 1954-57.

Alonso hasn’t won a race since the German GP in July, but he finished on the podium in six of the final seven races, including the last four.

It will be the sixth time since 2005 that the F1 season will be decided at the Brazilian GP. Alonso won both of his titles at Interlagos in 2005 and `06.

Red Bull has won the last three races at the track, with Vettel second to teammate Webber last year.

Schumacher, F1’s most successful driver, retired for the first time in 2006. He returned in 2010 with Mercedes, but struggled and managed only one podium finish, at the European GP in July.

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