Vettel was told by his Red Bull Racing crew he was experiencing gearbox malfunctions after leading the early going of the race. Webber then easily passed him on the 30th lap and cruised home from there, claiming his seventh career Formula One win.
It was Webber's first victory since last year's Hungarian Grand Prix -- a span of 26 races.
Defending Brazil champ Vettel still managed a second-place finish, wrapping up his second straight F1 championship season with 11 wins and a whopping 392 points for the season.
Brazilian Felipe Massa finished fifth in front of his home crowd.