Le Mans winner Nico Hülkenberg will race at 2015 Race of Champions
2015 Le Mans 24 Hours winner and Sahara Force India F1 driver Nico Hülkenberg has signed up for this year’s Race Of Champions on November 20-21 in London. It will be Hülkenberg’s first participation at the ROC.
Hülkenberg became the first current Formula 1 driver in over 20 years to win the Le Mans 24 Hours. Before that he collected many titles in motorsport; he was crowned champion in 2005 Formula BMW, 2007 A1 GP, 2008 Formula 3 Euro Series and 2009 GP2 Series, so we can tell he is a natural born winner. Now there is a new challenge in front of him, as he will fight against other champions in November at London’s former Olympic Stadium.
Hülkenberg will also partner four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel for Team Germany in the ROC Nations Cup. Vettel is also a six-time winner of the event in partnership with F1 legend Michael Schumacher. Hülkenberg knows that’s a hard act for anyone to follow.
“I’ve had a very good year so far and I’m very excited to be making my Race Of Champions debut. I’ve always wanted to take part but it never worked out so now I’m really happy to be a part of it and looking forward to it. I’m obviously stepping into big shoes to replace Michael Schumacher, which is a huge honour as well. I feel very happy and positive about that and it will be fun to team up with Seb and race and fight for Team Germany. The ROC track is very narrow and tight, a bit like racing on a street circuit. But it’s still quick and dynamic and entertaining to watch. There’s going to be quite a bit of car-hopping, adapting and adjusting from one machine to another. They’re all quite different so I don’t really know what to expect. But I guess I’ll get dumped into the cold water and then I’ll have to figure out how to swim,” he said.
Hülkenberg’s new team-mate Sebastian Vettel added: “It’s obviously very sad that Michael can’t join us again but in his absence it’s great to have Nico as a partner on Team Germany this year. I have massive respect for what he did in the Le Mans 24 Hours – to win it on his first attempt is very impressive. That’s a great race to watch because the race is long yet they race flat out from the first lap for the whole of the race. The Race Of Champions is at the other end of the scale in terms of distance but I can assure Nico we push just as hard!”
ROC president Fredrik Johnsson said: “Nico’s win on his Le Mans debut shows what an outstanding driver he is, but Formula 1 fans have known that for years. He has a winning record going back throughout his career and he consistently makes the most of whatever equipment he has. Now we are delighted to offer Nico a chance to show what he can really do in ROC’s range of identical machinery. If Nico was from any other country he would have made his ROC debut long before now, but of course Team Germany has long been about Michael and Seb. Everyone at ROC is sad that Michael will be missing as he continues his recuperation from his skiing accident but Nico is a first-rate replacement. Now we hope to fill out London’s former Olympic Stadium so as many race fans as possible can enjoy all the action as we find out if Nico and Seb can take their country back to the top.”