• Race of Champions

Albuquerque upsets Vettel and Loeb in Dusseldorf

ESPNF1 Staff
November 28, 2010 « Prost expects Vettel to become a 'quieter' driver | »
Filipe Albuquerque beat three-time champion Sebastien Loeb in the final © Getty Images

World champion Sebastian Vettel was stunned by former Red Bull young driver Filipe Albuquerque, who emerged a surprise winner of the Race of Champions in Dusseldorf.

The annual event, which pits stars from across the world of motorsport, has never been won by a current F1 driver, and that trend continued when Vettel was beaten by the former GP2 driver in the semi-finals.

Vettel had won the battle of the F1 drivers, knocking out Michael Schumacher in the quarter-finals in front of their home crowd. The pair had raced together to claim victory for Germany in the Nations Cup on Saturday, but Vettel took the bragging rights when he progressed to the last four.

However, Vettel's challenge came to an end when he was outgunned by Albuquerque, who went on to snatch victory from World Rally star Sebastien Loeb in the final.

Albuquerque took an early advantage, winning the first race in a best-of-three showdown, but Loeb forced the final to a decider after triumphing in a photo-finish. But after a strong start from the Frenchman, the Portuguese driver stormed back to take a surprise victory.

Heikki Kovalainen's challenge came to an abrupt end when he crashed spectacularly after the chequered flag. After a narrow defeat to Loeb in the heats, Kovalainen ploughed through the barriers and smashed into the concrete wall. Both Kovalainen and his passenger - girlfriend Cathering Hyde - were unharmed, but the Finn withdrew afterwards.

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