Nigel Mansell hits out at weight limit

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Nigel Mansell has criticized the minimum weight limit in Formula One next season as the new rules look set to hamper heavier drivers.

Although the minimum combined weight for the driver and car has been risen by 48kg for 2014, the majority of this increase is thought to be taken up by the heavier engines. As teams look to get as close to the minimum weight as possible (making their car lighter and therefore quicker), heavier drivers could be overlooked. For one-time F1 world champion and former IndyCar champion Mansell, this is an injustice.

“It’s wrong,” Mansell told the BBC. “They are not jockeys. It’s disgraceful, it’s discrimination against the medium-sized large driver.”

Nico Hulkenberg’s future is thought to be at threat due to his weight, even though he is widely considered to be one of the most talented drivers on the grid. For Mansell though, this should not be a consideration for teams.

“In years gone by, we didn’t have traction control or power steering – you had to be a strong driver and there were a lot of strong drivers,” Mansell said. “If you had this weight limit, they wouldn’t have been able to drive cars many years ago – or they would have driven with great difficulty. So I think get the weight limit up a bit, make some cars carry some ballast so that the bigger drivers don’t suffer as much.”

Taller drivers often find themselves struggling to match the weight of their rivals, with the outgoing Mark Webber expressing his thoughts on Twitter last month.

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.”