Fighting Alonso pleased with result

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He may have missed out on the race win, but Fernando Alonso was still delighted with his performance in the Australian Grand Prix, finishing in second place.

“It was a fantastic race for us, fighting all through the race.

“I was sad not to be able to win the race, but Kimi was fantastic and we need to congratulate them for a fantastic race.”

Alonso started the race in fifth, but he moved up to third off the start before taking the lead following the second round of stops. However, he gave up this lead to Kimi Raikkonen when he stopped for a third time, and the gap was too great for Alonso to recover.

The result marks Alonso’s best start to a season in three years, and with Felipe Massa finishing fourth, Ferrari appear to be in the running for both championships this season.

“We had a difficult start of season two years ago and last year, too, and this year is very different,” said Alonso.

“We feel much more comfortable, the car is responding well and we have a good season ahead of us.”

Ferrari lead the constructors’ championship by four points following their strong double-score, and they will be hoping to extend this lead at the Malaysian Grand Prix in seven days’ time.

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Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”