Force India to persist with wheel nut system

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Force India will continue to use the captive wheel nut system that let them down during the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil and to retire their VJM06s from the race as a problem with the wheel nuts meant their front-left tires could not be changed.

Captive wheel nut systems are already being used by other teams to speed up pit stops. It keeps the nut with the wheel, allowing the mechanic changing it to save precious tenths of a second while swapping the wheels over.

Force India believe they understand the cause of their problems in Malaysian and have taken advantage of the three-week gap between races to work on a solution.

“Even though the last race in Malaysia was very disappointing, I know we have the potential to bounce back quickly and get a good result in Shanghai,” said team owner Vijay Mallya. “Throughout the Sepang weekend, we had a quick car and the drivers felt good about their chances.”

“We were confident of bringing both cars home in the points until the wheel nut issue let us down. We’ve had three weeks to understand what went wrong and have worked hard fix the root cause of the problem.”

Force India showed promising pace before their double retirement, with Sutil quickest in Q1.

“The other teams will not stand still so we need to keep pushing hard and keep up this momentum,” he warned. “We will have a new tire combination in China – the soft and the medium – and we appear to be quite good at managing our tires so we need to use that to our advantage.”

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.”