René Rast and Timo Bernhard took the chequered flag and beat Juan Pablo Montoya and Helio Castroneves in Riyahd. They won the final, which was scheduled to the best of three races.
Neither René Rast nor Timo Berhnard are Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, but they demonstrated that once again, Germany does not need a a Formula One driver to be competitive. The 2018 Race of Champions gathered the best drivers in the world to compete in a showdown that went down to the wire.
Germany had the easy path to the finals. Not only they won their group, but also they shattered the Saudi Arabia team. They were the favorite team after 7 wins in total before facing their rivals in the final.
As per Latin America (the team formed by Juan Pablo Montoya and Helio Castroneves), they had to fight a bit more. In fact, they were not classified to the semifinals but it was a mistake by the organisation, which they restored inmediately it was detected. Team Sweden, who were classified, did not have a full aggregated time due to a crash of Joel Eriksson in one of the heats.
Then, during the semifinals, Team Latin America faced Team Nordic. Tom Kristensen and Peter Solberg fought hard against Montoya and Castroneves, but finally Montoya beat Solberg in the third and final heat.
As the final begun, it was clear that the drivers were on. No friendship and no calm driving. Germany draw first blood after Rast defeated Montoya in the Euronascar car. Then, Castroneves restored the balance with a victory over Bernhard.
For the third and final heat of the final, Rast and Castroneves went face to face. It was a tight race, and even though Castroneves kissed the wall, both the Braziliand and his German rival were separated by tenths. Unluckily for Castroneves, he was not in front when the chequered flag was waved. This result brings the eighth win for Team Germany, the first without an F1 driver.