Tue 20 November 2018
The 2018 FIA Formula 3 European Champion Mick Schumacher will make his Race Of Champions debut on January 19-20, 2019 at the Foro Sol, the iconic amphitheatre forming part of Mexico City’s Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez Formula 1 circuit.
Fresh from his victorious season, the 19-year-old Schumacher – son of seven-time F1 world champion Michael – will also team up with his fellow countryman Sebastian Vettel for Team Germany in the ROC Nations Cup.
This is sure to be an occasion charged with emotion as Vettel partnered Mick’s father Michael to six consecutive ROC Nations Cup victories. The pair started their glorious run at London’s Wembley Stadium (2007-2008), followed by Beijing (2009), two wins at home in Düsseldorf (2010-2011) and a final triumph at Bangkok (2012).
It was the following year that Michael suffered a serious head injury. The F1 legend has stayed in the thoughts of everyone involved with the Race Of Champions, with a banner in Michael’s honour unfurled before every ROC event in the intervening years (see picture below) along with awareness and funds raised in aid of the ICM Brain and Spine Institute.
Now Mick will bring the Schumacher family name back where it belongs, racing for glory on the track itself. As one of the trustees of Keep Fighting Foundation inspired by Michael Schumacher he will also help raise awareness of the initiative of Michael’s family wishing to continue his charitable work.
The young Mick first raced in 2008, initially competing under his mother Corinna’s maiden name Betsch to limit the pressure of his famous surname. After a decade of racing in karts and lower formulae, this year has been his finest yet. He took no fewer than eight victories – five of them in quick succession during one stunning run at the Nürburgring and Red Bull Ring in September – en route to being crowned the FIA F3 European Champion.
Mick now has the chance to add even more glory when he takes to the track against legends from all the major disciplines of global motor sport in identical supercars at ROC Mexico.
Schumacher said: “I am overwhelmed that I’ve been invited to participate in the Race Of Champions as the champion of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. And I'm even more overwhelmed that I'm going to form Team Germany with Sebastian Vettel. It's going to be tough because Sebastian is a big player in the Race Of Champions and of course I want to be a worthy team-mate for him!
“I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to the Race Of Champions weekend, especially as it will be held in Mexico where this year's F1 World Championship was decided and everyone has seen how much Mexican fans can party in the spectacular Foro Sol. Now the ROC weekend will be just as spectacular for me. Such a debut at such an event is simply sensational.
“I'm honoured to enter this competition which my father always loved and in which he set the bar very high together with Sebastian. 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. But of course I’ll do everything to get far in the individual event and to win the ROC Nations Cup trophy with Sebastian for Team Germany!”
ROC President Fredrik Johnsson added: “We can’t begin to express how thrilled we are that Mick will be racing at January’s ROC Mexico. 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. We continue to wish him well in his recovery, and I can’t think of a finer legacy than to have Mick racing with us for the first time.
“Of course Mick is here entirely on merit, having shown the world what he can do all season en route to the FIA F3 European Championship. Now we are excited to see what he can do in the identical supercars at ROC Mexico. 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…
“If you want to be a part of this historic occasion at Mexico City’s stunning Foro Sol, we look forward to welcoming you. See you in January!”
The Race Of Champions is an annual contest which has a history dating back over 30 years. It brings together many of the world’s greatest drivers from motorsport’s major disciplines – including Formula 1, NASCAR, IndyCar, Le Mans, World Rally and RallyX – and sets them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery.
The Foro Sol will join a list of prestigious venues to have hosted ROC since 1988 – including Beijing’s Bird’s Nest and London’s Olympic stadiums, Stade de France in Paris, Wembley Stadium in London, Miami’s Marlins Park plus a wide range of exotic locations all over the world from Bangkok to Barbados to Riyadh.
The event enjoys a rich record of attracting global superstars from every corner of motorsport. Formula 1 World Champions Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button have raced against NASCAR stars Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Busch brothers Kyle and Kurt, IndyCar’s Juan Pablo Montoya and Ryan Hunter-Reay, World Rally greats Sébastien Loeb, Sébastien Ogier and Colin McRae, as well as prominent figures from other classes including record Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen, X Games legend Travis Pastrana plus MotoGP icons Mick Doohan, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi.
Now the greats of Mexican motorsport have the chance to race some of the world’s best drivers – all in ROC’s identical machinery. The competitors will take to the track in a stunning range of supercars that have been specially prepared for ROC to push them to the absolute limit. To prevail, they will have to master this mix of machines, forcing them to adapt their driving style as they make regular switches between cars and putting all their hard-earned skills to the test.
It makes for a thrilling spectacle, with head-to-head races often decided by fractions of a second – as the screams of the crowd compete for supremacy with the screams of the engines…
The Race Of Champions is run over two days: first comes the ROC Nations Cup (on Saturday January 19) when drivers pair up in teams based on nationality – including the hosts Mexico – to bid for the title of ‘World’s Fastest Nation’. Then on Sunday January 20 it’s time for the Race Of Champions itself, when teamwork goes out of the window and it’s a flat-out battle for individual glory.
But that’s not all. The Race Of Champions is a non-stop show from start to finish and also features stunt shows on four wheels and two plus DJs, cheerleaders and plenty of other entertainment to keep the race fans on the edge of their seats.
Ticket prices start at just $1,450 pesos for two days of non-stop action, but there are fewer than 20,000 seats still available, so fans are advised to act now. Further details about the competing drivers will be announced in the run-up to January’s event.
For access to rights-free high-resolution imagery and to keep up with all the latest news ahead of ROC Mexico please visit www.raceofchampions.com, Race Of Champions on Facebook plus @raceofchampions and #ROCMexico on Twitter.
*Launched in 2016, the non-profit Keep Fighting Initiative was originated from the desire to give something back to the people who are sending so much sympathy and positive energy to the family of seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher since his accident in December 2013. The Keep Fighting Initiative is inspired by the attitudes that Michael Schumacher's fans always admired him for: to always keep fighting and never give up, even if there is only the slightest chance. Through various activities the Keep Fighting Foundation wishes to honour the support of these attitudes among fans of Michael Schumacher and at the same time continue the charitable work on his behalf. See www.keepfighting.ms for more info.