Vettel's solo effort thwarts NASCAR duo
MOTORSPORT: Sebastien Vettel single-handedly carried Team Germany to the Race of Champions Nations Cup title in Miami.
The German was left without a teammate after Pascal Wehrlein was prevented from racing by doctors after he rolled during Saturday's individual event.
It was Vettel's seventh Nations Cup title, having won the event every year between 2007 and 2012 when partnering Michael Schumacher.
Vettel saw off the Team GB pair of Jenson Button and David Coulthard and the Team Nordic pairing of Petter Solberg and Tom Kristensen by winning all four of his races to progress to the semi-finals.
He continued his emphatic form against Team Colombia, beating Champion of Champions winner Juan Pablo Montoya and his teammate Gabby Chaves to progress the final against Team USA NASCAR.
Busch brothers Kyle and Kurt proved no match for Vettel in the final either, with the German finishing with a remarkable eight wins from eight races.
It was an astonishing turnaround for Vettel who exited Saturday's individual event in the group stage after losing two of his three races.
"I had a better day than yesterday. It is a bit of a shame that Pascal is missing, but I did my best,” said Vettel.
"I had a clean day, no big mistakes, in the last round against Kyle I was a bit nervous because I nearly bogged it at the start, the revs dropped and the car nearly stalled, but I came back so really, really happy.
"It is just fun to be part of this event.
"I was smart enough to pay attention when Michael was teaching me lessons and it paid off today.”
Wehrlein had walked away from his Race of Champions crash the previous day but doctors prevented the new Sauber driver from taking part in the second day of the competition.
"I'm very sorry to withdraw from today's ROC Nations Cup,” said Wehrlein.
"I'd really like to race again and I feel fine, but the doctors have advised me to rest so of course I will take their advice. It's no more than mild discomfort but my real priority for the coming year is my Formula 1 season.
"So while I'm sad to be missing out on all the action, I send my best wishes to my teammate Sebastian Vettel and the rest of the competitors here in Miami and I wish them another exciting day's racing.”
Wehrlein now has just over a month to recover before pre-season testing begins in Barcelona on February 27.
The Nations Cup was followed by a Ryder Cup-style points event, with the Rest of the World defeating the USA 8-7, thanks to a triple points final race.