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Weekend wins for Alguersuari, Button, Schumacher, Vettel 05 Dec 2011

Jaime Alguersuari (ESP), Scuderia Toro Rosso. Desafio Internacional Das Estrelas, Florianapolis, Brazil, 2-4 December 2011. Heat 1 podium and results: 1st Jules Bianchi (FRA), Ferrari, centre. 2nd Jaime Alguersuari (ESP), Scuderia Toro Rosso, left. 3rd Felipe Massa (BRA), Ferrari, right. Desafio Internacional Das Estrelas, Florianapolis, Brazil, 2-4 December 2011. L-R: Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing (2010 and 2011 Formula 1 World Champion), Team Germany and Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP (seven-time Formula 1 World Champion), Team Germany celebrate their fifth ROC Nations Cup win. Race of Champions, Esprit Arena, Dusseldorf, Germany, 3-4 December 2011. Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren, 2009 Formula 1 World Champion; Andy Priaulx (GBR, three-time World Touring Car Champion), Team Great Britain, lead Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP, seven-time Formula 1 World Champion), Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, 2010 and 2011 Formula 1 World Champion. Race of Champions, Esprit Arena, Dusseldorf, Germany, 3-4 December 2011. R-L: Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren, 2009 Formula 1 World Champion, with David Coulthard (GBR), winner of 13 Formula 1 grands prix. Race of Champions, Esprit Arena, Dusseldorf, Germany, 3-4 December 2011.

The 2011 Formula One season may be complete, but that didn’t stop at least four F1 drivers picking some much-prized silverware over the weekend, with Jaime Alguersuari, Jenson Button, Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel all on the winners’ list.

Toro Rosso driver Alguersuari triumphed in the annual charity kart race organised by Ferrari’s Felipe Massa in his homeland of Brazil. Although Ferrari tester Jules Bianchi finished first on the road in both heats of the Florianopolis event, the Frenchman was subsequently disqualified for a weight rule infringement.

Other famous F1 names past and present taking part included former Virgin racer Lucas di Grassi and Williams’ Rubens Barrichello, who finished second and third respectively in the second heat, as well as Jerome D'Ambrosio, Tonio Liuzzi, Adrian Sutil, Pastor Maldonado, Nelson Piquet Jr, Antonio Pizzonia, Luciano Burti, Ricardo Zonta, Enrique Bernoldi, Christian Fittipaldi and Gianni Morbidelli.

Meanwhile, in Dusseldorf, the Team Germany partnership of Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel were busy taking their fifth successive win in the annual Race of Champions Nations Cup after a dramatic evening’s work in front of their home crowd. Schumacher and Vettel defeated Team Nordic’s Tom Kristensen and Juho Hanninen in the final after a tense best-of-three semi-final against Team Great Britain’s Jenson Button and Andy Priaulx.

“It’s special to win five in a row,” said Vettel. “This is a difficult event and a lot of things have to come together. You jump into different cars and it’s easy to lose it so you have to push yourself to the limit. Winning at home makes up for the Nurburgring, which wasn’t my best race of the F1 season!”

Schumacher added: “It’s always a pleasure for us to be here - and especially to win it. Sebastian and I are good mates and we work well with each other and help each other. In the end it worked out right for us. Unlike him, this is one of the few wins I’ve had this year - apart from a few in karts. There are so many great drivers here and we are all good in our own area. So this is just a nice competition and the social moments that we get to spend together behind the scenes are very special.”

There was some compensation for Button later on Sunday evening when he picked up the 2011 British Competition Driver of the Year prize at the prestigious Autosport Awards in London. Vettel also flew back to the UK event, to collect the International Racing Driver of the Year Award for the second year in succession.

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