Sebastian Vettel fulfilled his ambition of “kicking Jenson Button’s ass” when he and teamed up with his hero Michael Schumacher to deliver a knock-out blow to Team GB at the Race of Champions in Beijing.
Having beaten host nation, Team Finland (Marcus Grönholm and Mikko Hirvonen) and Team USA (Travis Pastrana and Tanner Foust), the Germans took on newly-crowned world champion Jenson Button and WTCC star Andy Priaulx in the final of the Nations Cup.
With seven world titles to his name, Schumacher got the measure of the Brawn man in their heat, but Vettel couldn’t find a way past the Channel Islander, bringing it down to one decisive match between Schumacher and Priaulx. As is usually the case with penalty shoot-outs, Germany won.
Vettel added: “To win three times in a row is something that no-one has done before, so it's a real reason to be proud.”
His team-mate sounded less serious: “I just come back to this event to use whatever there is left of a talent,” joked Schumacher, whose last F1 win came in China in 2006. “Of course, the racing is the highlight but the other stuff that goes on around here is part of the relaxed atmosphere of the Race of Champions that we all enjoy.”
“I don't like finishing second,” added Button. “It was a lot of fun – I spent most of the evening trying to hang on to my team-mate's coat tails.”
The Race of Champions concludes tomorrow as the drivers race to find out who is the Champion of Champions. Among the stars will also be David Coulthard, Mattias Ekström and Giniel De Villiers.