Vettel praises Pirelli’s response to tire issues

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Sebastian Vettel has openly praised and thanked Pirelli for responding to the issues that blighted the British Grand Prix in order to bring a new construction of tire to this weekend’s race at the Nurburgring.

“To be clear about yesterday and the GPDA meeting: the general agreement was that we’re happy Pirelli bought a new specification of tyre for this event and want to thank them for their flexibility and reaction times – they were able to find a solution in only a couple of days,” Vettel said in a statement from Red Bull.

The GPDA had threatened to boycott the race if their safety could not be guaranteed, but after a trouble-free day on Friday, Vettel is confident that the problems will not repeat themselves.

“The circumstances that we raced under in Silverstone were not what we can accept, but I don’t think we will see those issues again.”

In terms of pace, Vettel is pleased to have responded to Mercedes’ pace so well after the Silver Arrows went almost one second clear during the morning session.

“I wasn’t so happy with the car this morning and Mercedes were quick, but in the afternoon we were in better shape. We’ll see, but so far I am happy.”

Red Bull certainly appear to have the edge when it comes to the long runs, although Mercedes’ excellent qualifying record means that it is hard to look past them for pole position tomorrow. Regardless, the winning car looks set to come from one of these two teams, setting the scene for a grand battle in the Eifel mountains this weekend.

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.”