Vettel beaten by Schumacher as Guerra wins Race of Champions
As a team they were beaten in this weekend's nail-biting Race Of Champions Nations Cup finale. But when it came down to a head-to-head battle between Germany's Sebastian Vettel and Mick Schumacher, it was the latter who prevailed to knock his illustrious compatriot out of the competition's individual event…
Just a day after Team Nordic’s Tom Kristensen and Johan Kristoffersson ruined Team Germany’s chances of a ninth ROC title, coming out on top in a fiercely-contested final in Mexico City, Vettel and Schumacher competed against each other in the group stage of the Race Of Champions.
It was a chance for Formula 3 European champion Schumacher, recently signed to the Ferrari Driver Academy, to pit his wits against one of Formula 1’s most successful drivers – four-time world champion Vettel.
And Schumacher, son of seven-time world champion Michael, did his glowing reputation no harm with a mighty performance to overcome his fellow German – although the 2019 F2 driver later saw his chances of glory ended by former F1 driver Esteban Gutierrez in the quarter-finals.
Another F1 representative at the annual tournament, held at the Foro Sol in Mexico - the iconic amphitheatre forming part of Mexico City’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez Formula 1 circuit - was Red Bull’s French driver Pierre Gasly.
Like Schumacher, Gasly made it out of his group but fell at the quarter-final stage when he was defeated by eventual winner Benito Guerra, the Mexican rally star who defeated former Le Mans 24 Hours winner Loic Duval in the final head-to-head shootout.
Elsewhere, as reigning eROC champion, and a rising F1 Esports name, Enzo Bonito had a lot to live up to when he headed to Mexico.
But the Italian - signed to McLaren's Shadow Project for the 2018 F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series - delivered and then some, defeating not one but two champions from the world of motorsport, besting both Lucas di Grassi and Ryan Hunter-Reay on the track.
Di Grassi, who famously triumphed at the Mexican venue during his Formula E title ascent in 2017, was beaten by Bonito in their Nations Cup showdown, and the sim-racer-turned-on-track-protege showed his ability again in the individual event, defeating 2012 IndyCar champion and three time Indy 500 winner, Hunter-Reay.
Ultimately the weekend may not have yielded glory for the F1 representatives, but Schumacher and Bonito certainly won’t forget their contribution, with their stand-out performances commanding well-deserved plaudits around the world.