There was to be no trademark raised digit as race winner but he was number one again anyway, only the ninth driver to take back-to-back championships and on the podium for the 14th time in 15 races this year.
Vettel, congratulated by both Button and Alonso afterwards, now has 324 points to Button's 210 and Alonso's 202.
He had vowed to retain the title in style and his aggression and determination was evident from the start as he cut across Button and forced the Briton onto the grass.
"He's got to get a penalty for that," Button shouted over the radio but stewards, who included Australia's 1980 champion Alan Jones, decided to take no further action after reviewing the incident.
Image: Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany tosses his trophy into the air after finishing third in the Japanese Grand Prix to clinch the Formula One drivers championship, at the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, central Japan, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011. At left is McLaren driver Jenson Button of Britain who won the race.