Lotus reveals E22 in an unconventional manner

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Friday likely will go down in history as an odd day in the state of the Lotus F1 Team.

Earlier this morning, team principal Eric Boullier has left his position, with co-chairman Gerard Lopez taking over the role with immediate effect.

Meanwhile, the team revealed its new E22 via a Twitter post, rather than a conventional manner of an online launch or taking the wraps off at Jerez next week. Lotus, of course, is the only team to confirm it will miss the first test of the new year.

The key technical feature of note at first glance is the “double anteater” nose, which is similar to a structure employed by the second iteration of the Audi R15+ TDI LMP1 prototype.

Otherwise, with limited details revealed on the car’s technical format or quotes from any team officials, it seems something could be out of sync.

Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado will drive the E22 when it debuts; the team’s reserve driver is yet to be revealed. Lotus 2013 reserve driver Davide Valsecchi said he, like Kimi Raikkonen before him, had not been paid, and will likely explore other options.

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.”