The win by the 35-year-old Swiss master, who made a stunning return from a six-month layoff by winning the Australian Open in January, capped an impressive run in the California desert in which he did not lose a set the entire way.
The rematch of the Australian Open semi-final saw the close friends hold serve until the 10th game of the opening set when Federer, ahead 5-4, outlasted Wawrinka in a thrilling 21-shot rally for the service break.
Federer now joins Novak Djokovic a five-time winner at the event and becomes the oldest champion in the tournament's history, surpassing Jimmy Connors who was 31 when he triumphed in 1984.
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