Hulkenberg ‘honoured’ to replace Schu


Team Germany will have an all-Formula 1 line-up at this year's Race of Champions (ROC) after Nico Hulkenberg was confirmed as Sebastian Vettel's partner.

Vettel won six consecutive Team titles from 2007 until 2012 with seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher, but he will team up with Le Mans 24 Hours winner Hulkenberg this year.

"I’ve had a very good year so far and I’m very excited to be making my Race Of Champions debut," the Force India driver said. "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."

Schumacher is absent as he is still recovering from the life-threatening injuries he suffered during a skiing accident at the end of 2013 and, although Vettel admits it is "sad" that the F1 legend won't be around, he is looking forward to teaming up with Hulkenberg.

"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," the four-time World Champion said.

"I have massive respect for what he did at Le Mans – to win it on his first attempt is very impressive.

"ROC is at the other end of the scale in terms of distance but I can assure Nico we push just as hard!"

This year's Race Of Champions will take place at London's former Olympic Stadium from 20-21 November and Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo and former McLaren driver David Coulthard will also be in action.