Mercedes accepts Tribunal ruling, will not appeal

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Mercedes has accepted the penalty handed down by the FIA International Tribunal on Friday, and will not appeal.

Its lawyer had suggested Mercedes be banned from the upcoming young driver test, which was the penalty the FIA imposed.

The tough luck award in the proceedings go to Sam Bird, Mercedes’ reserve driver, who has lost his next chance at a go in the W04. Still, at least now Mercedes can head to Silverstone with this affair fully in the background.

The statement reads:

The MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team acknowledges and accepts the Decision of the FIA International Tribunal published today.

The Decision of the International Tribunal confirmed that the team acted in good faith regarding the Pirelli Tests, never intended to obtain any unfair sporting advantage and had no reason to believe that approval for the Pirelli Tests had not been given.

Mercedes accepts the proportionate penalties of a reprimand and suspension from the forthcoming Young Driver Test that have been decided upon by the Tribunal.

Mercedes would like to once again restate its firm belief in proper due process and commend the FIA for the principle of an independent disciplinary body.

The team would furthermore like to thank the International Tribunal and its President for the fair hearing it received yesterday.

In the best interests of the sport, the team does not intend to avail itself of any right to appeal the Decision.

Mercedes looks forward to working with the FIA and its fellow competitors to establish a more rigorous procedure for testing in the future, particularly to support the appointed tire supplier.

We now wish to bring this matter to a close and focus on the forthcoming British and German Grands Prix, both of which are important home races for the team.

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.”