Hamilton and Alonso hoping new regulations hurt Red Bull

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Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton have both said that they are hoping the new raft of regulations set to come into force for the 2014 Formula One season cause Red Bull to lose the advantage that they have enjoyed as everyone “starts from zero”.

Ever since the last set of changes to the regulations in 2009, Red Bull have dominated the sport by winning the last four consecutive drivers’ and constructors’ championships. However, a shake-up of the rules in 2014 – the biggest change being the downsize in engines – could allow Mercedes and Ferrari to be competitive once again.

“We are competitive people,” Fernando Alonso explained during the drivers’ press conference on Thursday. “We want to win. This year it was not possible but next year we start from zero.”

With just one world championship to his name, Lewis Hamilton has not enjoyed the groundbreaking career that many expected him to. However, he is confident that the rules changes could allow him to push Vettel next season, but the foundations will be laid by finish this year strongly also.

“I think that a lot of the stuff that you develop on this year’s car, upgrades that we do bring to this year’s hopefully will have an effect on next year’s car,” Hamilton said. “It’s kind of similar but some teams obviously can turn their focus a little bit earlier and some a little bit later, but hopefully, ultimately, we’ll still be competitive next year with these guys.”

However, with Red Bull having little left to play for in the remaining three races, it is likely that they will already have shifted attention to the 2014 car as they look to extend their reign as world champions next season.

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.”