Mick Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel to team up at Race of Champions | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 20.11.2018
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Mick Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel to team up at Race of Champions

Schumacher and Vettel proved a winning combination at the Race of Champions six times in the past. Now it's time for a new generation, as Michael's son Mick Schumacher teams up with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

European Formula 3 champion Mick Schumacher announced on Tuesday that he would team up with Sebastian Vettel for Germany at the Race of Champions event in Mexico this January. 

The pairing restores one of the most successful combos in the event's history: Vettel and Mick's father Michael Schumacher won the Nations Cup trophy for Team Germany six times in a row, from 2007 to 2012. 

A photo made available on 16 December 2012 shows German three times Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel (R) and Michael Schumacher (L) of Team Germany hold up their trophy after winning Nation Cups race as part of Race of Champions at Rajamangala National Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, 15 December 2012. (picture alliance/dpa)

Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel had an impressive record at the RoC

"I'm honored to enter this competition, which my father always loved and in which he set the bar very high together with Sebastian," Mick Schumacher said. "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." 

This year's Race of Champions (RoC) — a lighthearted event involving a series of time trials in varying machinery that attracts many top drivers during motor sport's off-season — will take place on a purpose-built track at the Mexico City circuit used in Formula 1, on January 19 and 20. 

Read more:  Michael Schumacher's teenage son, Mick, wins European F3 title

'Sure to be an emotional moment' 

RoC president Fredrik Johnsson said he "can't begin to express how thrilled we are" at the news of Mick following in his father's footsteps at the event. 

"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," Johnsson said. "Of course Mick is here entirely on merit, having shown the world what he can do all season en rote to the FIA F3 European Championship." 

Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher in a KTM X-Bow at the 2012 RoC in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo from 15.12.2012. (picture alliance/dpa/R. Yongrit)

The event pits some of the world's best drivers against each other in an array of identical machinery; as such, it's considered a good opportunity for youngsters to prove their worth against senior opponents

Schumacher the younger, 19, was particularly strong in the second half of the season in the European F3 title race, notching eight wins in the last 15 races of the season to overtake his rivals and claim the 2018 title. 

"Now we are excited to see what he can do in the identical supercars at RoC Mexico," Johnsson said. "When Mick lines up with Sebastian Vettel for Team Germany in Saturday's RoC Nations Cup, it is sure to be an emotional moment for everyone involved. Imagine the roar from the crowd if they can find a way to lift the trophy." 

Read more:  Injured German F3 driver Sophia Flörsch undergoes successful operation

Since Michael Schumcaher's severe head injury, sustained skiing late in 2013, Vettel had been partnering either with Nico Hülkenberg or Pascal Wehrlein for Germany at the event. In 2017, Vettel won the Nations Cup pairs' event driving solo, after getting special dispensation to do all the driving for Team Germany after Wehrlein was injured in a crash on the opening day. 

A young Sebastian Vettel, in 1999, holding go-kart trophies with Michael Schumacher on the Kerpen kart track owned by the Schumacher family. (picture-alliance/Heinrich Franzen)

Generation game: With Vettel all grown up, now he has the chance to mentor Michael's son

Schumacher has already been linked with possible future drives in Formula 1, although in September, Red Bull's driver recruitment mogul Helmut Marko dismissed rumors that the Toro Rosso team had shortlisted him for the 2019 season.

Other German media reports suggest the rising star is seeking a drive in F2 — one rung below F1 — next season with the well-funded French team ART Grand Prix. The outfit has been a consistent front-runner in recent years in the single-seater race series considered the "feeder" series to Formula 1. Past ART drivers to graduate to the top series include Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Romain Grosjean, Charles Leclerc, Nico Hülkenberg and Jules Bianchi.