After qualifying in third place for the Korean Grand Prix on Saturday, Mark Webber is set to start the race from thirteenth on the grid following his penalty in Singapore last time out.
Webber was reprimanded after the race at the Marina Bay Street Circuit following an incident after the race that saw him dangerously flag down Fernando Alonso in order to get a lift back to the pits. As this was his third reprimand of the season, Webber was subject to an automatic ten-place grid penalty that will come into effect for the race tomorrow. Having made his opinion on the penalty known last week, Webber is feeling optimistic about his chances in Korea despite the setback.
“I’m pretty happy, I could be two positions further up but that would mean, with the penalty, I would be eleventh rather than thirteenth,” Webber said. “It was a pretty tight qualifying with the two Mercedes, Seb and myself. Tomorrow’s race will be interesting, I will be out of position, but we’ll fight and come back through.”
Webber’s car had been set up to favor his race pace as he looks to scythe through the field and reach the podium in Korea for the third consecutive year in what will be his final grand prix at the circuit in Yeongam.
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.”