Vettel praises Hamilton’s “phenomenal lap”

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Defending world champion and one-time British Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel has heaped praise on Lewis Hamilton after he stormed to pole position with a stunning lap in the dying seconds of qualifying.

Hamilton was the last of the frontrunners to post a lap in Q3, beating teammate and provisional pole-sitter Nico Rosberg by over four-tenths of a second, and third-placed Vettel could only applaud the Briton.

“I don’t know, either Lewis found a short cut or he has something special around here,” the German driver said in the post-qualifying press conference. “A phenomenal lap. I think it wasn’t in reach today.”

When talking about his own lap, Vettel seemed delighted to have qualified so closely to the Mercedes cars.

“I was very happy with the lap I had at the end. And I think it was very close with Mark as well. I think we did what we could for the team and, yeah, it’s always nice to position well in qualifying.

“Especially around here qualifying is good fun, enjoying the high-speed corners and looking forward to tomorrow, for the race. We’ll see how well we are with the tires, looking after them.”

Vettel is well-placed to claim a second British GP victory and a fourth win of the season should Mercedes encounter the same tire problems that blighted their races in Bahrain and Spain earlier this year.

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.”