BANGKOK – Sebastian Vettel claimed a record sixth Nations Cup win for Team Germany at the Race of Champions in Bangkok but missed out on individual glory, losing to eventual champion of champions Romain Grosjean.
David Coulthard, meanwhile, made it all the way to semi-final stage of the individual competition before being beaten by eight-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen.
On Saturday, Sebastian once again teamed up with F1 legend Michael Schumacher to take on the might of the motorsport world in the country-based competition at the Rajamangala Stadium.
And in the group stages the Germans took a perfect six wins out of six to see off India's Karun Chandhok and Narain Karthikeyan, who had progressed from Friday's ROC Asia competition, Team Thailand and Team Australia, made up of V8 Supercars champion Jamie Whincup and motorcycle legend Mick Doohan.
With two teams qualifying for the semi-finals from each group Seb and Michael again met the Aussies to battle for a berth in the final. They easily made it through past Whincup and Doohan to set up a final fight against the Team France duo of Romain Grosjean and Sébastien Ogier, who had booked their slot with victory over the Team All-Stars pairing of eight-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen and double MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo.
David Coulthard's Team Great Britain were unlucky to miss out on a place in the semis after the Scot and team-mate Andy Priaulx both incurred penalties for touching the barriers.
The best-of-three final looked like being a close-fought contest but in the end Vettel and Schumacher made it look easy. Michael roared to victory over Grosjean in heat one and Sebastian sealed the duo's sixth Nations Cup win with a tight victory over Ogier in heat two.
"Six years is a long time and now we can look back and know we've won for the last six years," said Sebastian afterwards. "We all love coming here as it's a special event. It's a privilege and an honour to race with these guys. There's one thing that connects us all, which is racing."
Sebastian added that the win was good preparation for Sunday's individual Race of Champions, a trophy that had eluded him five times in the past.
And sadly it escaped him again yesterday. Sebastian made light work of the group stage, taking victory in all his three heats, including beating MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo.
That however was as far as the F1 champion got. Seb was matched against Grosjean in the quarters and the Frenchman took revenge for the previous day's Nations Cup defeat by beating the Red Bull Racing driver to a place in the semis after the F1 champ made a mistake and slid into a barrier.
David Coulthard, however, was having better luck. DC made it out of his group with wins over Whincup and Mexican P-WRC star Benito Guerra. He then comfortably dismissed surprise Group B winner Ho-Ping Tung in the quarters to set up a semi-final against Kristensen. There was no way past the Dane, however, and David had to be content with recording his best ROC result losing the 2008 final in London to WRC legend Sébastien Loeb.
# # #