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DATE News (chronologically)
12/16/07
roc
Germany wins the ROC Nations Cup


Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher celebrate their win

Fans at Wembley Stadium witnessed history in the making today as Team Germany, with Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, claimed The ROC Nations Cup for the first time in the history of The Race of Champions.

Motorsport’s best drivers gave the crowd plenty to cheer for as they fought relentlessly over two hours, some pushing the limits to the very extreme like Mattias Ekström and Travis Pastrana who both had close shaves with the concrete barriers.

England versus Germany at Wembley brought the crowd to fever pitch, re-enacting every football fans’ nightmare with the German pair knocking out local heroes Jenson Button and Andy Priaulx.

Every heat was breath-takingly close but none more so than in the Team Germany versus Team Finland final when Schumacher, having stalled on the start line, found himself having to drive defensively with last year’s winner Heikki Kovalainen only centimeters behind.

Spectators were on their feet as the two Formula 1 drivers fought each other, racing bumper-to-bumper on the same half of the innovative parallel track, before Kovalainen overtook the seven-time World Champion to the delight of cheering fans.

With one more round to go, both teams were tied and it was Schumacher’s young team-mate Vettel that claimed the decisive win against Kovalainen.

Schumacher congratulates Vettel

Seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher (Team Germany)
“In the first heat of the final I just stalled the car and that was it! Then I was waiting for Heikki to come back round so at least we could have some fun. I knew I could rely on Sebastian! Actually it turned out really good; the two young ones could fight whilst the two retired drivers could relax!
“There weren’t any balls or any goals so it was a little bit easy for us to win at Wembley today.”

Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Vettel (Team Germany)
“I didn’t expect that. I had a strong team-mate in the beginning when I needed help. After that it was quite good. We had the draw against England, which was spectacular. The crowd was alive! I raced against Marcus in his own car; so almost like in his living room! I was already putting together all my excuses; I didn’t expect to win at all!
“I asked David Coulthard what to do in preparation for this. He said you are not allowed to come to the event not drunk… fortunately I didn’t’ follow his advice.”

McLaren F1’s Heikki Kovalainen (Team Finland)
“Michael had a problem at the start so I thought let’s have some fun for the crowds. I don’t think he expected me to overtake him. It was just a bit of fun!
“I think he could have easily blocked me. After I got past him, I was just holding my handbrake and keeping full throttle to give the crowd something for their cameras.
“I had no more to give today with that car. I didn’t make a mistake until the second to last corner. Sebastian drove really well, that’s all I can say! I’m now against him in the first heat for the main race, that’s going to be a difficult one.”

Double World Rally Champion, Marcus Grönholm (Team Finland)
“I was a little bit too confident against Sebastian. On the start line I thought it would be easy for me but no. He didn’t make any mistakes and he was very fast so that was a mistake from me.”

THE ROC NATIONS CUP RESULTS

Quarter final 1 Winning driver Winning nation
FRANCE NORWAY NORWAY
Bourdais (FRA) H.Solberg (NOR) Bourdais (FRA)
Muller (FRA) P.Solberg (NOR) P.Solberg (NOR)
Bourdais (FRA) P. Solberg (NOR) P. Solberg (NOR)
       
Quarter final 2 Winning driver Winning nation
FINLAND SCANDINAVIA FINLAND
Kovalainen (FIN) Kristensen (SCA) Kovalainen (FIN)
Gronhölm (FIN) Ekström (SCA) Gronhölm (FIN)
       
Quarter final 3 Winning driver Winning nation
SCOTLAND ENGLAND ENGLAND
Coulthard (SCO) Button (ENG) Button (ENG)
McRae (SCO) Priaulx (ENG) Priaulx (ENG)
       
Quarter final 4 Winning driver Winning nation
USA GERMANY
Johnson ( USA) Schumacher (GER) Schumacher (GER) GERMANY
Pastrana ( USA) Vettel (GER) Pastrana ( USA)
Schumacher (GER) Pastrana ( USA) Schumacher (GER)
       
Semi final 1 Winning driver Winning nation
NORWAY FINLAND FINLAND
H.Solberg (NOR) Kovalainen (FIN) Kovalainen (FIN)
P.Solberg (NOR) Gronhölm (FIN) Gronhölm (FIN)
       
Semi final 2 Winning driver Winning nation
ENGLAND GERMANY GERMANY
Button (ENG) Schumacher (GER) Schumacher (GER)
Priaulx (GER) Vettel (GER) Vettel (GER)
       
Final Winning driver Winning nation
FINLAND GERMANY GERMANY
Kovalainen (FIN) Schumacher (GER) Kovalainen (FIN)
Gronhölm (FIN) Vettel (GER) Vettel (GER)
Kovalainen (FIN) Vettel (GER) Vettel (GER)

2007 THE ROC NATIONS CUP WINNERS:

TEAM GERMANY (Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel)
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