For Ferrari, it’s on to the next one

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Like any good team principal would be in a victorious situation, Ferrari’s Stefano Domenicali was happy with Fernando Alonso’s triumph at the Chinese Grand Prix. But with just seven days until the next race in Bahrain, he’s also keen to get started on preparations.

“We need to be very proud of today,” Domenicali told NBC Sports Network’s Will Buxton after the race in Shanghai. “Winning in China is very important. But we need to be focused already, after tonight, on the next week’s race in Bahrain.”

Post-race comments from Alonso, fresh off a sterling performance that saw him take the checkered flag by a whopping 10 seconds over Kimi Raikkonen, seemed to indicate that he felt the same way as his boss.

“I expect a tough race again,” the Spaniard said of the challenge ahead in the desert. “In Bahrain, I think we will see different conditions and who knows how competitive anyone can be. But definitely…From the races that we finished this year, the car seems to be able to be on the podium, so we hope to be on the podium again in Bahrain.”

But surely Alonso would make some time to party a little after such a resounding statement following his disaster ending in Malaysia last time out, right? Well…Not really.

“The celebration tonight? Nothing special,” he admitted. “I have a flight very early for Bahrain, so tonight, I think some dinner. I think the guys will celebrate more than me.”

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.”