SCHUMACHER AND VETTEL AIM FOR SIX IN A ROW
Multiple Formula 1 world champions Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel have arrived in Bangkok for the Race Of Champions The pair, who have ten F1 world titles between them, will tonight try for a sixth ROC Nations Cup for Team Germany Schumacher said: “The Race Of Champions is always a highlight for us at the end of the year” Vettel added: “Tonight we’ll work as a team and try to take the title again”
Formula 1 world champions Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel are preparing for tonight’s ROC Nations Cup as they bid to extend Team Germany’s run of glory to a record sixth consecutive triumph.
The German duo, who have become an all-conquering force in the competition, met the media at Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium this evening along with fellow F1 stars David Coulthard and Romain Grosjean. They are part of the dazzling line-up of motor sport greats – also including MotoGP world champions Jorge Lorenzo and Mick Doohan – who will compete in tonight’s ROC Nations Cup and Sunday’s individual Race Of Champions.
Here’s what they all said shortly before the start of the racing action:
Michael Schumacher (Team Germany)
“We are always excited to come to the Race Of Champions as it’s always a highlight for us at the end of the year. We’re happy to be over here in Bangkok this time and we’re very much looking forward to showing what we can do down on the track later on. Clearly what Sebastian and I are here to do is to take our sixth ROC Nations Cup win. There is tough competition around us tonight so it will be a big challenge.”
Sebastian Vettel (Team Germany)
“What’s special about the Race Of Champions is that it’s a good challenge with the different cars and it’s a great opportunity to meet drivers from different categories. I’ve been coming back with Michael for a few years now and all the drivers enjoy this event. It’s very relaxed – you can compete against each other and then grab a drink after the race and have some fun. There are a tough set of competitors around and it’s always hard to predict what will happen. Today we will work as a team to try and win the ROC Nations Cup for Team Germany again, then we’ll see how tough tonight is before we see what we can do tomorrow.”
David Coulthard (Team Great Britain)
“I’ve been to the Race Of Champions a few times now – it’s always a nice event with a different atmosphere to normal competition. I’m clearly not getting any younger because I’m sweating in all this heat – so I’m not sure if I’ll have enough energy to help my Team Great Britain partner Andy Priaulx later! This year’s track remains fundamentally the same as previous years but it’s much faster than usual so I think it will be a big challenge. Team Germany are a very strong team. They have 10 world championships between them so it will always be difficult but at this event one corner can make or break everything if you make a small mistake.”
Romain Grosjean (Team France)
“We all enjoy coming here. This is only my second time but it’s a similar track to last year, just a bit wider. There is no real rest out there on a track like this. Even the straight is very short so it’s a hard circuit but it’s good fun when you really manage to floor the car through the corners and go for it. That’s why we all come back!”
The Race Of Champions, which is being staged for the 25th consecutive year in 2012, brings together the world’s greatest drivers from motor sport’s main disciplines – including Formula 1, world rally, touring cars, Le Mans, MotoGP, IndyCar and the X-Games – and sets them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery.
Drivers pair up for Saturday’s ROC Nations Cup at the Rajamangala Stadium before the individual Race Of Champions takes place on Sunday.
Coverage of tonight’s ROC Nations Cup and tomorrow’s Race Of Champions will be available on television all over the world. Stations showing ROC live include SAT1 in Germany, Motors TV throughout Europe, Al Jazeera in the Middle East, Fox in Latin America and Brazil, Speed TV in Australia, the Sony Entertainment Network in India, PPTV and Euro Soccer channel in China, Super Sport in Africa plus many more. Please check local listings for exact details of broadcast times.
Tickets are still available for this weekend’s action. For a live results feed and access to high-resolution imagery please visit www.raceofchampions.com. Sign up for all the latest updates at www.raceofchampions.com, @raceofchampions on Twitter or Race Of Champions on Facebook.
ROC Nations Cup Draw (Saturday December 15)
Group A Team France (Sébastien OGIER & Romain GROSJEAN) Team Great Britain (David COULTHARD & Andy PRIAULX) Team Americas (Ryan HUNTER-REAY & Benito GUERRA) Team All Stars (Tom KRISTENSEN & Jorge LORENZO)
Group B Team Germany (Michael SCHUMACHER & Sebastian VETTEL) Team Thailand (Nattavude CHAROENSUKAWATTANA & Tin SRITRAI) Team Australia (Mick DOOHAN & Jamie WHINCUP) Team India (Narain KARTHIKEYAN & Karun CHANDHOK)
Race Of Champions Draw (Sunday December 16)
Group A 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
Group B 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
Group C 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
Group D 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