Vettel has faced hostile podium receptions in Canada, Italy and Singapore among other venues this season, a trend that is presumed to be the legacy of his controversial decision to defy team orders and pass Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber for the win at the Malaysian Grand Prix in March.
Happily for the German there were no such scenes at the Buddh International Circuit after he produced a consummate drive to win at the track for the third year in a row.
The race also brought some relief for Force India driver Paul Di Resta, as the Scot ended a sequence of seven races without a point after coming home in eighth. "It's great to score points here - the team's home grand prix is a really important race for us," Di Resta said, after starting the day 12th on the grid. "We've steadily improved the car and I'm feeling more comfortable, so I think we can be optimistic of performing at a similar level in Abu Dhabi next week."
But the day belonged to Vettel as he claimed his sixth win in succession, and 10th this season. More pertinently the result crowned him the youngest ever four-time world champion, joining Alain Prost, Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio as the only men to reach that milestone. "It was for sure not an easy season, even though people from the outside got the idea that we had it in our hands for quite a while," said Vettel. "I think it was a difficult one, all in all - very difficult for me, personally. To receive boos even though you haven't done anything wrong, but to overcome that and to give the right answer on the track and finally get that acceptance I think we're all looking for as racing drivers, it makes me very proud."
At the age of 26, Vettel is six years younger than Schumacher was when he became a four-time champion in 2001, and will fancy his chances of eclipsing his compatriot's outright record of seven world titles in the years to come.
Vettel added: "To win four titles, it's just a big number, you know? To join people like that - Michael, Fangio, Prost - is very difficult to put into perspective. I'm way too young to understand what it means. I might be 60 one day, maybe then I will understand, but nobody will care any more."
Vettel's win also secured the constructors' title for Red Bull. He added: "I'm overwhelmed. It's been one of best days of my life so far. It was phenomenal all season, to be honest, so I couldn't ask for more."
The German took the chequered flag 30 seconds clear of the chasing pack, moving him into an unassailable 115-point lead in the standings with three races to spare.
Webber had been on target to make it a Red Bull one-two but an alternator problem forced him to retire at two-thirds distance, paving the way for Mercedes' Nico Rosberg and Romain Grosjean of Lotus to complete the podium.
Vettel had a 90-point lead over Ferrari's Fernando Alonso going into the race but any hopes the Spaniard may have had of producing a fightback were ended by first-lap collisions with Webber and Jenson Button, after which he finished 11th. Button finished 14th.
There was a sting in the tail on Vettel's big day, however, when he was summoned before the stewards to explain his actions after the race. Deciding to celebrate his title with the fans, Vettel turned 'doughnuts' on the pit straight before dropping to his knees in mock prayer to the Red Bull RB9 car that has seldom failed him all year.
The FIA took a dim view and gave Vettel a reprimand and Red Bull a £21,300 fine. The governing body said Vettel had fallen foul of the Article 43.3 of the sporting regulations by failing to return to parc ferme - a secure area where post-race checks are carried out on all the cars - "without unnecessary delay".
They accepted "special circumstances" were in play and that contributed to the decision to let off Vettel with a reprimand, although Red Bull were found to have not "sufficiently" instructed the German to return to parc ferme.
Ferrari's Felipe Massa took fourth in the race ahead of McLaren's Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes, with Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen seventh.