Four-time F1 world champion, Sebastian Vettel, and two-time F1 world champion, Mika Hakkinen, are announced for the 2023 Race of Champions in Sweden in January.
The circuit is laid on snow and ice in the Baltic Sea in Sweden, 60 miles from the Arctic Circle. Vettel will face Hakkinen in Pite Havsbad in the event on January 28 and 29. Vettel and Hakkinen are two of the six drivers announced so far, with more being announced in the coming months.
Vettel is a seven-time ROC Nations Cup winner with his first win with mentor and former F1 rival, Michael Schumacher. The German has also previously won the individual ROC event, and was runner-up at last year’s individual race.
This ROC race will be Vettel’s first race after his retirement from F1.
“I can’t think of a better place for my first race after I retire from Formula 1 than the Race of Champions. This will be my 11th appearance, and I keep coming back because it’s a special event, and so much fun.”
“I don’t have much experience of racing on snow and ice, so it made for a steep learning curve in Sweden earlier this year – and a very pleasant surprise to reach the individual final against Sebastien Loeb.”
“Now I can’t wait to come back and give ROC-style ice racing another try and hopefully help Team Germany win another ROC Nations Cup title.”
Hakkinen has made an appearance of his own at the ROC early in 2022. The Finn states his excitement by saying :
“I made my first appearance at the Race of Champions earlier this year and I’m delighted to be coming back again.”
“This event has a great atmosphere, it’s fantastic to meet up with so many great drivers and everyone in the organisation does a great job.”
“I’ve done the Arctic Rally a few times, so I have at least driven on ice before. Here’s hoping that can help me out this time…”
W-series champion, Jamie Chadwick, is also announced as a competitor for the 2023 ROC:
“To have the chance to drive on snow and ice is amazing, and doing it at the Race Of Champions makes it even more special. My ROC debut this year was a pinch-yourself moment to be among so many motorsport greats, so I’m delighted to be coming back.”
“It’s so much fun and I even surprised myself by winning a couple of races – even if I soon found out that it doesn’t take much to end up in a snowbank instead!”