Extra testing planned for new engines

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Renault Sport F1’s Rob White has revealed that there is likely to be an additional pre-season test in 2014, giving teams additional time to work with the new V6 engines which will be introduced next season.

“There is what looks like quite a mature proposal to have an additional test session which we are completely in favour of,” White told Autosport.

“I don’t know what the format would be or where it would be, but we’re of the assumption that it will be an additional session for all teams and it’s not optional as everyone will want and need it.”

Pre-season testing in 2013 saw three test sessions held: one in Jerez, and two at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona. Although this does give teams a chance to work on their new cars, many believe that increased testing would be beneficial.

However, with in-season testing banned, an extra test would be welcomed by the teams in order to get used to the new engines. White underlined the importance of the extra session to Renault, with the French marque set to work with Red Bull, Lotus, Williams and Caterham next season.

“Even if it was safe to assume that there would be no significant engine or power unit work to do, which is probably not the case, then all of the teams would be busy in characterizing and confirming the design assumptions or gathering data to amend.”

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.”