Sebastian Vettel accepts blame for missing out on pole

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Defending world champion Sebastian Vettel has accepted full responsibility for failing to qualify on pole position for tomorrow’s Monaco Grand Prix, having made a small error in Q3 which meant that he could not challenge Nico Rosberg at the front.

The Red Bull driver finished 3rd in the final session behind Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, but he feels that the 0.104 second gap would have been surmountable if he hadn’t made a slight error.

“I think it was very close,” Vettel said in the post-qualifying press conference.

“Mercedes were very quick all weekend and we know they are good over one lap. But I don’t want that to sound like an excuse, I think there was a bit more than a tenth missing and I think I had that today, but it didn’t come together on the last lap.

“The car was really, really good so if anyone is to blame it is me. I am not entirely happy with the last lap, but still pretty happy there is not a Ferrari or a Lotus ahead.”

Having beaten his closest championship rivals in qualifying, Vettel has now set his sights on getting ahead of both Mercedes drivers, believing that he can beat both Rosberg and Hamilton on the same strategy.

“Tomorrow I think Mercedes will have to stop at least as much as us so I think sitting in third is a good result and should be a good opportunity to win the race.”

Mercedes have suffered with heavy rear tire wear so far this season, and they have failed to win from any of the three pole positions they have claimed in 2013. Therefore, Red Bull will be pleased to have locked out the second row, and will be undoubtedly be in the running for the win on Sunday.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

Audi Sport
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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.”