11 June 2012
Vettel confirmed for 2012 Race of Champions
Current world champion Sebastian Vettel has become the first F1 driver to confirm his appearance in the end-of-year Race of Champions event in Bangkok.
Sebastian Vettel will be back for another go at the Race of Champions, as the cross-motorsport event stages its 25th year of competition in December at Bangkok's Rajamangala Stadium.
For the last five years, Sebastian Vettel has been part of the German team in the RoC Nations Cup part of the event held on the Saturday. Partnered with Michael Schumacher, he has helped drive the team to victory twice in Dusseledorf, once in Beijing, and twice at Wembley in London.
"Together with Michael, we've been very successful for Team Germany in the ROC Nations Cup," said Vettel. "So that's still the most important event for us."
However, he's never won the individual Race of Champions title that is the focus of the Sunday activities, and rather fancies adding that to his two F1 world championships: "It would be great to get through to the final of the main Race Of Champions at last and win that too," he admitted.
Vettel said that he'd never been to Thailand before and was looking forward to the experience. "I think it's a great venue and hopefully there will be plenty of people supporting us and cheering for us when we are racing.
"Every year the atmosphere between the drivers is different to when we meet each other at the racetrack," he said about the appeal of the RoC event to him and his fellow drivers. "It's more relaxed, we enjoy ourselves in the evenings and we usually we have a very good time there."
Originally a rally-centric competition, the Race of Champions has grown to include invitees from touring cars, Le Mans and the X-Games as well as F1 and WRC. In 2011, Jenson Button, Vitaly Petrov, Timo Glock and Romain Grosjean boosted the F1 contingent while Andy Priaulx, Mattias Ekström, Filipe Albuquerque, David Coulthard, Sébastien Ogier and Travis Pastrana also took part. The drivers compete head-to-head in a number of rounds driving a variety of identical-specification race cars.
Vettel is the first confirmed signing for Bangkok, and it's not yet confirmed whether he'll be joined again by Michael Schumacher. But securing the return of Vettel to the event is clearly an important step for the organisers of this year's event.
"We're delighted to have Sebastian back as we head to Bangkok," said race organiser Fredrik Johnsson. "We pride ourselves on the driving greats we attract and there is no better place to start than the reigning F1 world champion. No doubt he will be a big draw for the crowds from Thailand and around the world.”
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