Webber: Today was like Russian Roulette

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Mark Webber’s good record at the British Grand Prix continued on Sunday as he recovered from a poor start to finish 2nd in his final race at Silverstone, but the Australian driver has compared the race to a game of Russian Roulette after the Pirelli tires failed on five separate occasions.

Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa, Sergio Perez, Jean-Eric Vergne and Esteban Gutierrez all suffered from blowouts, making Webber thankful to have finished the race, let alone on the podium.

“What a day! I don’t think any of us expected it to unfold like this,” Webber said in a team statement. “The start was pretty bad, we have to look into that as we had had a good run of starts recently. Then I had contact with Grosjean and the wing was damaged; the boys did a great job in the stop when they changed it.”

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This incident left Webber down in P15 at the end of the first lap, but he fought back strongly to finish just 0.7 seconds behind race winner Rosberg come the checkered flag. Webber was still wary of a potential tire failure though.

“I was praying for a safety car, but not for the reason they were coming, as you knew you could be next. When you have something like that, it’s Russian Roulette; when you see that many tire issues for the fellow competitors then it’s never comforting.

“I made the most of those safety cars – and today the strategy was one of the best we’ve done. I think it worked very, very well. I worked hard to manipulate the pace when I had to and then it was Nico and I left at the end.”

Pirelli are thought to be facing a meeting with the FIA in the next few days ahead of the German Grand Prix one week today.

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.”