Sauber celebrate best qualifying of the season in Korea

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Sauber have enjoyed their best qualifying result of the season as both Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez made it through to Q3, securing top ten grid positions for tomorrow’s Korean Grand Prix.

Gutierrez may have failed to score a point during his rookie season, but the Mexican driver proved in Singapore that he has great potential after qualifying tenth and running in P7 for a large part of the race before falling back in the final stages of the grand prix. In Korea, he has impressed once again in qualifying, comfortably getting through Q1 before scraping into Q3 and going on to finish ninth.

“I’ve improved my qualifying and once you have both cars working on a similar level you can push yourself a lot more,” Gutierrez said. “This is the first time I have driven here, so it is great to achieve a result like that. It is now the second time in a row I have been able to put in a good qualifying performance and that is a good feeling, because I have worked a lot to improve.”

Nico Hulkenberg qualified one place ahead of his teammate, and both drivers are set to move up one place on the grid thanks to Mark Webber’s ten place grid penalty.

“Today went really well,” Hulkenberg said. “Q1 and Q2 were like clockwork and my lap in Q3 was good too, but somehow it was more difficult, I was four tenths down on my Q2 time and the grip was not the same as in the previous session. To start P7 tomorrow is very positive and we can look forward to the race.”

Thanks to Russian investment, the team’s future has been secured with an extension of their engine deal with Ferrari being confirmed for 2014.

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.”