Record-breaking multiple F1 world champion Michael Schumacher will compete in the 2013 Race Of Champions at Bangkok's Rajamangala Stadium in December, it has been announced.
Schumacher is the first driver to be confirmed for the end-of-season contest, which has been held every year since 1988 and which brings together the world's greatest drivers from motor sport's main disciplines – including F1, world rally, touring cars, Le Mans, MotoGP, IndyCar and the X-Games – and sets them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery.
The German retired from F1 again at the end of last season, but he has a mighty record at the Race Of Champions, having partnered reigning F1 world champion and compatriot Sebastian Vettel
to ROC Nations Cup glory in each of the last six years. To rub it in, the pair won ten races out of ten en-route
to victory last December.
Now Schumacher will aim to extend that run even further, sending out an ominous warning to any rivals standing between him and his 'lucky number' seven.
“I am sorry to say but of course we want to win it again!” Schumacher stated. “The fact that it will be the seventh title this year makes it even more interesting, at least for me. So be prepared for a hot Team Germany in the ROC Nations Cup.
“This year I am still spending a lot of time on four wheels, but obviously not in F1. I still do a lot of karting as this is my 'old' love, and I have been driving the Mercedes AMG SLS GT3 which was a really good experience. It is obviously different when you are racing every other weekend but I am still quite used to it.”
Race organiser Fredrik Johnsson meanwhile is delighted the 44-year-old has committed to return again.
“We are proud that Michael so enjoys the Race Of Champions he keeps coming back for more. He may have officially retired from F1 but we all know that hasn't dimmed his competitive spirit,” he added. “This will be a rare chance to see the world's most successful racing driver take on the best of today's talent in identical machinery. We hope fans from Thailand and around the world will grab this unique opportunity to see this driving legend in action once more.”