Pirelli to supply tires for 2014 F1 season

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Following a difficult year, Pirelli have been confirmed as Formula One’s tire supplier for the 2014 world championship, extending the Italian manufacturer’s stay in the sport into a fourth year.

The beginning of the year saw Pirelli come under fire for creating a tire that was (to some teams) too aggressive, meaning that drivers could not push for more than a few laps. However, the crisis worsened at the British Grand Prix following a series of tire failures that appeared to threaten the safety of the drivers. In response, Pirelli re-introduced the constructions used in 2012, ensuring that the drivers would not suffer a repeat of the events at Silverstone in the rest of the season.

“The WMSC today confirmed that Pirelli may continue to supply tires to competitors in the FIA F1 World Championship, subject to the requisite technical and safety standards of the FIA being met,” a statement from the FIA read.

However, all chances of a second supplier joining the sport have been extinguished with the FIA confirming that they were seeking a single supplier for tires and – interestingly – fuel.

“One of the noteworthy aspects of the new 2013 Concorde Agreement is the new tender procedure for appointing single suppliers in the tire and fuel categories, for the FIA F1 World Championship.

“In this new process, the FIA will be confirmed as the body in charge of conducting the tender process. The Commercial Rights Holder will be entitled to run the commercial negotiations with potential suppliers, with a view to the selected single supplier being officially appointed by the WMSC.”

With a decision now made for 2014, Pirelli will be able to push on with plans for next season in what looks set to be the most strenuous season yet due to a bumper calendar and a raft of new regulations.

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.”