Sebastian Vettel Wins Race Of Champions, England Captures Nations Cup
Sebastian Vettel’s days of ruling Formula One may be over, but the four-time F1 world champion is still a force to be reckoned with on the race track, proving it yet again after being crowned the Champion of Champions at the Race of Champions in London, England. It’s Vettel’s first ever Champion of Champions title, even though he’s had tremendous success in this event in the past. That’s because from 2007 to 2012, Vettel and mentor Michael Schumacher won the Nations’ Cup for Germany. It was a six-year display of dominance that was only halted in 2013 when that year’s event was cancelled in Bangkok because of “political unrest”. Since then, Schumacher suffered a traumatic head injury and is still in the process of recovering, opening up the door for the Nordic region and England to win the 2014 and 2015 Nations Cup titles, respectively.
With Schumacher’s racing career over, Vettel made an impressionable showing together with reigning Le Mans winner and fellow F1 racer Nico Hulkenberg for Germany. The duo made it to the final round of the tournament, but eventually fell to the Jason Plato and Andy Priaulx, two touring car champions who, between them, have four World Touring Car Championship titles and two British Touring Car Championship wins under their belts. Plato and Priaulx’s title marks the first time England has won the Nations Cup since the event began in 1999. In that time, Germany still has the most titles with six, followed by France and Finland with two apiece. Spain, the United States, the Scandanivan countries, the Nordics, and an All-Star team have each won the Nations Cup once.
It was an eventful tournament for all intents and purposes, but ultimately, it was Sebastian Vettel’s star that shone the brightest. It shouldn’t be a surprise considering how successful he’s been as an Formula One driver in the past. If anything, it just goes to show that Vettel is one of the best drivers in the world in any disciple.
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Why it matters
I don’t know what it is about the Race of Champions, but I think it doesn’t get the kind of attention it deserves. It’s a shame because the competition is incredibly exciting if you watch it. For one, the event only lasts two days, which is the equivalent of a single racing weekend in any of the top racing series in the world. It’s also the only racing event in the world that pits some of the biggest racing names in different racing styles, competing against one another in head-to-head racing.
I’m not sure if that’s the right kind of racing excitement for you, but it is for me. I watched this year’s event, as I have for the past couple of years. It’s must-see TV in my book and I hope that it gets more mainstream attention in the years to come. The event itself is still pretty young compared to other racing tournaments, but if people give it the kind of attention that I think it warrants, it could end up becoming a staple in the calendar of motor racing fans.
Maybe if the US can start using NASCAR drivers in the event, then maybe it can catch on with American racing fans. Trust me when I tell you, though, the Race of Champions is one of the most entertaining racing weekends in the automotive calendar. It’s definitely worth checking out in the coming years.