Schumacher and Vettel line up for 2019 Race of Champions

by James Eagles
Mick Schumacher - European Formula 3 - Hockenheim

2018 FIA European Formula 3 champion Mick Schumacher has announced that he will be taking part in the 2019 Race of Champions event at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Mexico City in January, partnering Sebastian Vettel for Team Germany.

Schumacher will make his Race of Champions Nations Cup debut, six years after his father – seven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael – last appeared alongside Vettel to represent Germany.

Vettel and Schumacher Snr. enjoyed plenty of success as a partnership, taking six successive Nations Cup victories between 2007 and 2012. The Schumacher name has remained in connection with the celebration by way of a banner sporting messages of goodwill and support towards the stricken Scuderia Ferrari legend, nearly five years on from a tragic skiing accident.

The 19-year-old will race to raise awareness for the Keep Fighting Foundation, inspired by his father, of which he is a trustee. Speaking in the light of the announcement, confirmed on his Instagram page, Schumacher said that he is “overwhelmed” by the invitation and the chance to team up with four-times F1 world champion Vettel.

“I am overwhelmed that I’ve been invited to participate in the Race Of Champions as the champion of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship,” said Schumacher.

“And I’m even more overwhelmed that I’m going to form Team Germany with Sebastian Vettel. It’s going to be tough because Sebastian is a big player in the Race Of Champions and of course I want to be a worthy team-mate for him.

“I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to the Race Of Champions weekend,” he continued. “Especially as it will be held in Mexico where this year’s F1 world championship was decided and everyone has seen how much Mexican fans can party in the spectacular Foro Sol.

“Now the ROC weekend will be just as spectacular for me. Such a debut at such an event is simply sensational.”

Schumacher, who has eyes on a drive in the FIA Formula 2 series for next season, added that he is “honoured” to take up the task of hitting the standards reached by his father and Vettel in their time together. In 2018, the young German took a sensational eight victories in the last 18 races of the Formula 3 championship to beat Red Bull junior Dan Ticktum to the title. His first F3 win, taken at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in tricky conditions, was a trademark Schumacher victory.

Sebastian Vettel & Michael Schumacher - 2012 Race of Champions

Vettel and Schumacher Snr enjoyed a Nations Cup clean sweep between 2007 and 2012. Credit: Race of Champions

“I’m honoured to enter this competition which my father always loved and in which he set the bar very high together with Sebastian,” he added.

“There are so many renowned drivers in action and I’m looking forward to competing against them and getting to know them better; I’m looking forward to the fun we’ll all have together and which we’ll offer for the spectators in Mexico.

“But of course I’ll do everything to get far in the individual event and to win the ROC Nations Cup trophy with Sebastian for Team Germany.”

Race of Champions president Fredrik Johnsson spoke of his delight that the Schumacher name will return as a competitor in 2019 and emphasised that Schumacher Jnr. has earned the invitation through his 2018 achievements.

“We can’t begin to express how thrilled we are that Mick will be racing at January’s ROC Mexico,” said Johnsson.

“His father Michael has been a friend of the Race Of Champions for many years, and of course his contribution both on and off the track has been immense. We continue to wish him well in his recovery, and I can’t think of a finer legacy than to have Mick racing with us for the first time.

“Of course Mick is here entirely on merit, having shown the world what he can do all season en route to the FIA F3 European Championship. Now we are excited to see what he can do in the identical supercars at ROC Mexico.”

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