And a good news for Sebastian Vettel! After finishing on the third spot at the drivers' rating in the Formula 1 behind Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, the Ferrari Formula 1 driver has just won the Race Of Champions. Starring top seeded racers from all formats of the games, the four-time F1 world champion defeated nine-times 24-hour Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen at the London's Olympic stadium.
The German defeated Tom Kristensen in the best-of-three final, with one race remaining. Vettel drove a Radical SR3 SRX to outpace the Dane around the pursuit-style stadium track in the first leg of the race. He took over the steering of the 1.1-litre ROC car, but even before the start of the second leg, Kristensen's car broke-down, spilling fuel on the circuit and delaying the race.
The third leg started with stunt driver Terry Grant entertaining the crowd with a combination of Legend and mobile phone based antics. Meanwhile Vettel and Kristensen switched to the KTM XBow for the race. Kristensen went too near to the barrier and clipped it, earning an early warning for exceeding track limits. This, plus lose in time allowed Vettel to win an easy third leg, and hence the championship.
"To be honest, I've tried so many times so today was a surprise," said Vettel. This is the first overall victory for the German in the Race Of Champions, who has earlier won the Nations Cup team event for six times alongside Michael Schumacher from 2007-2012. "We all know with this format you don't get much time in the car so you need to be quick when it matters and find the rhythm."
"I was able to find it today and end up in the fine. In the first race, I pushed very hard," explained Vettel. "I think Tom had a bit of a problem in the second run in the final, so not entirely straightforward, but very happy and honoured to win." Vettel eliminated World Rallycross champion Petter Solberg, 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours winner Nico Hulkenberg and defending Race Of Champions winner David Coulthard to reach the finals.
On the other hand, Kristensen eliminated Formula E champion Nelson Piquet Jr, British Touring Car Championship legend Jason Plato and Blancpain Endurance champion Alex Buncombe to make it to the final. At least 5 current F1 drivers took place in the championship, which saw racers from Formula E, Rally racing, Le Mans and some retired race car drivers too.
2015 race of champions results:
Sebastian Vettel beat Tom Kristensen 2-0
ELIMINATED IN SEMI FINALS:
David Coulthard, Alex Buncombe
ELIMINATED IN QUARTER FINALS:
Nico Hulkenberg, David Coulthard, Jason Plato, Andy Priaulx
ELIMINATED IN ROUND OF 16:
Petter Solberg, Daniel Ricciardo, Jenson Button, Susie Wolff, Nelson Piquet Jr, Romain Grosjean, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Bradley Philpot
ELIMINATED IN PRELIMINARY ROUND:
Jose Maria Lopez, Pascal Wehrlein, Mick Doohan, Jolyon Palmer
Image Source - Getty Images