Massa: Williams winning the fight to be best of the rest

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Felipe Massa believes that Williams is winning the race to be the ‘best of the rest’ in 2014 behind the all-dominant Mercedes team.

The Brazilian driver has suffered a great deal of hard luck so far this season, with the latest incident seeing him get taken out on the first lap of the British Grand Prix. Across the garage, teammate Valtteri Bottas stormed to second place in the race, and Massa is sure that this proves the team’s position as second quickest to only Mercedes.

“I think so,” the Brazilian said. “Honestly the car was so competitive in the race, so we couldn’t be so competitive in the practice because we changed something on the setup which was not positive, then we went back to the car we had in Austria and the car was competitive in the race – unfortunately not for me because I couldn’t do the race.

“But for sure it was a very positive result for us because it shows the car was the quickest car in Canada apart from Mercedes, and also the second quickest in Austria just after Mercedes, and even here, so I think that’s really positive for us, and I hope we get to Germany and we have also the second quickest team.”

Williams currently sits fourth in the constructors’ championship, trailing Ferrari by just three points. For Massa, this kind of form will put the British outfit in good stead to take the fight to the Italian marque and to second-placed Red Bull, but he did not feel that the test at Silverstone on Tuesday will have contributed to the performance in Germany.

“I think this can be important to recuperate points and put the team in the big fight for the top three positions in the constructors’ championship,” he noted.

“The testing today is a little bit different. The testing today was also trying something, some ideas for the future, maybe even next year, and just doing some laps as well, so I didn’t do so much for Hockenheim but the car shows good pace straightaway so it was good to feel the car like that.”

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.”