Race Of Champions Nations Cup: Kristensen/Kristoffersson win to deny Schumacher/Vettel 9th title
Nine-time LeMans Grand Prix winner, Tom Kristensen, defeated Team Germany's Mick Schumacher in the Race of Champions Nations Cup finals securing a maiden win for Team Nordic.
Previously, Sebastian Vettel and 7-time F1 World Champion, Michael Schumacher, had won ROC Nations Cup a record 8 times, This year his son and 2018 Formula 3 European Champion, Mick Schumacher partnered Vettel in an attempt to secure the 9th title for Team Germany.
Kristensen, a ROC veteran, was partnered by 2-time World Rally Cross champion, Johan Kristoffersson, who made his ROC debut last year in Riyadh.
Last year's reigning champions, David Coulthard and Andy Priaux of Team Great Britain, lost in the group stages.
Both Team Germany and Team Nordic aced their way into the semi-finals topping their respective groups.
Team Germany went up against Lucas Di Grassi and Helio Castroneves of Team Brazil in the semis, Vettel got the better of Lucas while Mick Schumacher, with his sister Gina onboard with him in the passenger seat, outclassed Indycar champion, Helio Castroneves. A moment to remember for the Schumacher family.
Team Nordic went up against local heroes Esteban Gutierrez and Indylights champion, Patricio O' Ward of Team Mexico, but Kristensen made short work of former F1 driver Esteban Gutierrez, while Patricio O' Ward fought valiantly with Kristofferson and narrowly missed out on the win.
So, come the finals, we had two heats in each round. In the 1st round, Vettel went up against Kristensen, with the Dane getting the better of him in both of the heats.
Now, the pressure was on Schumacher, and boy did he deliver, outclassing the much experienced Johan Kristofferson, which mind you, had not lost even a single match before this heat.
Schumacher's win meant that the finals went into a tie-breaker, and unfortunately for the German, Kristensen had the upper hand, sealing a maiden victory for Team Nordic.
Nonetheless, it was an eye-opening drive by young Schumacher. The German has been signed by Ferrari as part of their young driver programme, and will be taking part in in-season tests during the 2019 F1 season. He will also be racing in the F1 feeder series, Formula 2, in a bid to make a jump to F1 in the following year.
Among other big names, 2019 Red-Bull Racing driver, Pierre Gasly, who teamed up with Le-Mans winner Loic Duval for Team France, couldn't make it out of the group stages and were visibly disappointed. Pierre had initially not been allowed by Red-Bull management to take part in ROC.
The drivers will have another chance at glory as Race Of Champions individual event takes place today in Mexico City.
Catch it live on Race Of Champions official facebook page. The race starts at 19:00(GMT).