With a grand total of nine Formula One world championships between them, driving legends Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher – aka Team Germany – talk about their plans and chances in the Race of Champions 2011…
How does it feel racing in an enclosed stadium in front of your home crowd?
Sebastian Vettel: "It’s magic, a little bit like playing in a football stadium. It’s very special."
Michael Schumacher: "Indoor racing is just sensational. It is just big fun. For us it’s so unusual. I really think every driver fully enjoys it. The whole atmosphere is just great."
'To me it always looks a bit like a toy racecourse which has become reality.'
Are you looking forward to taking part?
Michael Schumacher: "Well, to me it always looks a bit like a toy racecourse which has become reality. The event is very entertaining so it’s a cool place to go out at the weekend. If you like cars, if you like music, if you like action, there is nowhere else to be this weekend."
Sebastian Vettel: I can’t wait for the event. It’s completely different to what we experience on the F1 circuit, in rallying or other motorsport. That’s why drivers from so many different categories and countries compete against each other and have a lot of fun together. It’s an unforgettable experience!"
Michael, did the fact that you took part in Race Of Champions from 2007-2009 play any part in your decision to come back to F1?
Michael Schumacher: "It is not so much the competition which brings me back, it’s the fun, the time you spend with the other drivers. During the season, everybody just has to be so focused and it’s just nice to have time to have a drink together in the evening. Of course, we are all professional drivers so the moment we close the visor we want to win but that`s really only one part of it."
Sebastian, last year you were still in a daze after your world championship. Has it a been bit calmer this year?
Sebastian Vettel: "It’s a bit different because I already won the championship in Japan and not at the last race. Still this doesn’t mean that we stopped fighting or competing. We kept fighting for wins. This is all we want, to get the maximum out of every single race."
Michael, how much do you think you've changed as a driver during your two seasons back in F1?
Michael Schumacher: "I have certainly developed in the way that I know the team better. And, yes, at the very beginning I was probably still a bit rusty. Things are smoother now. I am confident that Mercedes and me will get there."
Sebastian, how much have you changed as a driver now you are a double world champion?
Sebastian Vettel: "I learned from the first title. I am a bit calmer and maybe more self-confident. If you win a title, you prove you can do it. But people shouldn’t misunderstand this and think I can handle every situation easily now. I still have to learn a lot."
Michael, if you had to choose just one, would you prefer to win the ROC Nations Cup again or finally to triumph in the individual Race Of Champions?
Michael Schumacher: "Celebrating with Sebastian has become a very fun thing to do, so I am totally fine with us winning the ROC Nations Cup again. The problem then usually is the party afterwards which kind of compromises the next day.
- ROC official website www.raceofchampions.com
- Check out Seb's profile page
- Visit the Race Of Champions event page
- More Red Bull Motorsports