Will Webber miss Vettel next year? “Probably not…”

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Mark Webber did not disguise the antipathy between him and team mate Sebastian Vettel when he appeared on BBC’s Top Gear yesterday.

Asked if he will miss Vettel when he leaves Formula One to join the World Endurance Championship next year, Webber said: “Probably not a huge amount, no.”

“I think in a competitive environment obviously there’s always going to be a bit of needle,” he added. “There’s a lot of history between us obviously that’s gone before.”

The pair had the latest in a series of rows in Malaysia this year when Vettel was ordered to hold position behind Webber at the end of the race but refused, and passed his team mate to take the win.

Webber has since announced he will leave F1 at the end of the season. “The time is right for me,” he said. “A bit of a break from what I’ve been doing for the last 14 years. I’m going to race with Porsche.”

He admitted Formula One today has become focused on tire preservation and, from next year, fuel conservation will be play a major role: “It is very different from how it used to be. But that’s the way it is, we’ve got to learn and get on with it and we’re supposed to be at the top of our game.”

“But you’ve got to be able to push. In Formula One it’s about us boys absolutely on the limit all the time. There’s a big regulation change next year, we’re going to have to save fuel.”

Webber also had another go at the series’ popular Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car challenge. Although he wasn’t able to beat Lewis Hamilton’s record lap of 1’42.9, he did beat Vettel with a time of 1’43.1.

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.”