Team Germany’s Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel added another feather to their cap by winning the ROC Nation’s Cup title for the sixth consecutive time. The Germans proved to be unbeatable from the word go and finished with a 100% win record.
Both Vettel and Schumacher eased through the group stages after comfortably defeating Team India, Team Thailand and Team Australia. In the semi-finals, they again encountered the Australian duo of Jamie Whincup (V8 Supercars World Champion) and Mick Doohan (Motorcycling legend) but defeated them easily with a score of 2 to zero.
Team India (Karun Chandok and Narain Karthikeyan) failed to progress through the group stages after suffering four consecutive defeats to the likes of Schumacher,Vettel, Whincup and Doohan. Only consolation for them was the victory against Team Thailand and the fact that they were the ROC Asia Champions.
In Group A, Team France (Sebastian Ogier and Romain Grosjean) and Team All-stars (Tom Kristensen and Jorge Lorenzo) progressed through to the semi-finals after defeating Team Great Britain (David Coulthard and Andy Priaulx) and Team Americas (Ryan Hunter Reay and Benito Guerra).
In the semi-finals, Team France defeated Team All-stars with a score of 2-0 and progressed to the finals.
In the Final round, Schumacher defeated Grosjean and Vettel defeated Rally ace Sebastian Ogier to clinch their sixth ROC Nation’s cup title for Team Germany.
Quotes from the finalists:
Schumacher said: “This is a historic day. It was already very special to win five times in a row but this new record just feels great. The Race Of Champions is a nice event with a nice set-up, there are great guys here and tough competition. We were pretty scared of the guys on Team France but in the end they lost time in the final heats so we were lucky to be consistent the whole way through.”
Vettel added: “Even Michael hasn’t managed six titles in a row before so this is something special. Six years is a long time and now we can look back and know we’ve won for the last six years. We all love coming here as it’s a special event. It’s a privilege and an honour to race with these guys. There’s one thing that connects us all, which is racing. Now I can look forward to tomorrow and hopefully stay in the competition as long as possible. I’ve tried that for the last five years and haven’t succeeded yet so it would be nice to put my name on that trophy too.”
Grosjean admitted: “We knew going up against Team Germany was the toughest moment of the evening. But we fought as well as we could with what we had in our hands. Last year we reached the semi-final, this year the final. Now the next step is to be on the top of the podium. They want to go for seven next year but we want to go for our first one in the future. For now it’s great to have brought the blue, white and red flag to the final.”
Reigning individual Champion of Champions Ogier said: “First I want to congratulate Team Germany because six victories in a row is a great result. We tried our best but they were very strong. We will try to do better next time. First I will do my best to retain the individual Race Of Champions title tomorrow but I know it will be tough.”
Programme Schedule for Individual race of champions:
Time: 6.30p.m(Indian Standard Time)
Broadcasting Channel for India:Sony Six
Race Of Champions Draw (Sunday, December 16)
Sébastien OGIER, WRC star and reigning ROC ‘Champion of Champions’
Jamie WHINCUP, V8 Supercar Champion 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008
David COULTHARD, 13 Formula 1 grand prix victories
Benito GUERRA, Production World Rally Champion 2012
Tom KRISTENSEN, eight-time Le Mans 24-Hour race winner
Andy PRIAULX, three-time World Touring Car Champion
Ho-Pin TUNG, fastest qualifier from ROC Asia
Nattavude CHAROENSUKAWATTANA, winner of ROC Thailand
Sebastian VETTEL, Formula 1 World Champion 2012, 2011, 2010
Jorge LORENZO, MotoGP World Champion 2012, 2010
Mick DOOHAN, five-time 500cc MotoGP World Champion
Tin SRITRAI, runner-up from ROC Thailand
Michael SCHUMACHER, seven-time Formula 1 World Champion
Ryan HUNTER-REAY, IndyCar Series Champion 2012
Kazuya OHSHIMA, second fastest qualifier from ROC Asia
Romain GROSJEAN, three Formula 1 podiums in 2012