The start of the European season in Formula One also frequently marks the start of the in-season developmental arms race, where updates begin popping up throughout the paddock.
Sauber will be among those bringing a different element to Barcelona next week. Head of track engineering Tom McCullough confirmed a revised rear wing will make its debut on the C32, as the team looks to improve the car’s rear end stability.
“We have some further aero updates, including a modified rear wing, and we will be evaluating these during Friday practice,” he said. “Qualifying is particularly important here as overtaking can be difficult in the race.”
Rookie Esteban Gutierrez needs a big weekend at the Circuit de Catalunya, as team principal Monisha Kaltenborn has told him to raise his game.
“The first time I raced in Barcelona was in 2008,” Gutierrez said. “I know the track and during the winter tests I was also able to experience driving a Formula One car there. As the first of a series of European races, I think it is going to be an exciting event and I’m looking forward to that.”
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.”