Lotus scores first points of 2014 with Grosjean in eighth

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After a troublesome start to the 2014 season, Lotus F1 Team has finally found its feet and scored its first points of the year at today’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Romain Grosjean brought his car home in eighth place to score four points, getting both himself and the team on the scoreboard for the first time this year.

The Frenchman started the race in fifth place after a fine display in qualifying yesterday. However, the race pace of the E22 was still giving the team some trouble, and he was unable to hold off Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen after the first round of stops.

However, he still managed to bring the car home in one piece in eighth place ahead of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg. The result marked his first top ten finish since last year’s United States Grand Prix in Austin, where he finished second.

It wasn’t all good news for Lotus, though, as Pastor Maldonado’s poor start to the year continued. The Venezuelan driver crashed out during qualifying yesterday, and started the race from last position. However, when trying to pass Caterham’s Marcus Ericsson in the opening few laps, he made a rash move that saw the two make contact.

The stewards did not look kindly on Maldonado’s manoeuvre through turn seven, and handed him a five second stop-go penalty. After the race, they also confirmed that he had been given one penalty point for his FIA superlicense. Maldonado eventually finished in 15th place.

Although the result is still a far cry from the team’s race winning escapades of 2012 and 2013, it is still an important one for the staff at Enstone. Finally, after a winter full of car problems and financial uncertainty, Lotus can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

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.”