Force India duo not too disheartened despite missing Q3

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Force India drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez are not too downbeat with their qualifying performances despite finishing in 11th and 12th in Spain today.

The team has made a remarkable start to the season, and currently lies third in the constructors’ championship ahead of Ferrari and McLaren. Perez produced a fine display in Bahrain to secure just the second podium finish in the history of the team, and Hulkenberg has scored points at every race so far.

Having performed so well this season, missing out on the top ten might seem like a poor result for the team, but both Hulkenberg and Perez said that they qualified around where they expected to.

“My lap was very good and I am pleased with the effort we put in during qualifying,” Hulkenberg explained. “We made some steps forward with handling and set-up compared to FP3 this morning, but we still ended up a little bit short of Q3.

“Considering that we haven’t been totally comfortable with the car for most of the weekend, P11 is a very good place to start the race and gives us an extra set of medium tires compared to the rest of the top ten.”

Perez explained how be bailed on his final flying lap because of traffic, but he is not too disappointed with 12th place given that the track is not suited to the VJM07 car.

“I think we finished qualifying more or less where we expected,” the Mexican said. “Maybe a place in Q3 was possible, but I did not manage to complete my final run in Q2 because my preparation lap was not ideal. There was too much traffic and my tires were not optimised, which is why I chose to abort my final quick lap and save the tires.

“Coming here we knew this track would be quite a difficult one for us, but we still believe we can be competitive tomorrow.”

The team will be hoping that its drivers can make up some positions during the race tomorrow to continue its point scoring streak in 2014. However, this might be easier said than done given the gains that McLaren and Lotus appear to have made.

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.”