The 55,000 German fans who headed to the Red Bull Soapbox Race in Landschaftspark Hoheward, Germany on Sunday witnessed the reigning world champion in action an unfamiliar outfit and an unusual car.
In place of his regular Red Bull overalls Vettel donned the instantly recognizable blue dungarees and red cap of a certain videogame character. And instead of his Adrian Newey-designed RB9 Vettel piloted something that looked very much like it belonged in Nintendo’s Super Mario Kart series.
Vettel took to the downhill course in his ‘Super Seb’ kart, crashing over bumps and kicking up plenty of dust before stopping to sign autographs for his fans.
The three-time world champion, fresh from his first home grand prix victory at the Nurburgring, was also on hand to judge the competition entrants. He chose one styled to look like a DMC DeLorean as a winner.
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.”