Report: McLaren trying for Vettel or Alonso

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It’s no secret that McLaren would like a big name star to spearhead Honda’s return to F1 next year, and Eric Boullier is making both overtones and undertones that only a World Champion will do.

While both four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel and two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso are on the radar, prying either driver from their respective contracts at Red Bull (2015) and Ferrari (2016), respectively, could be difficult.

Still, Boullier remains persistent and is keen on getting at least one of the two, even if it means waiting.

“We are still pushing and we will take the time we need. We don’t want to do a mistake – we have one shot and we don’t want to miss it,” Boullier told Autosport.

“McLaren is a top team, a big team, with a lot of history and we want to be back where we should be.”

Boullier also made waves during the Belgian Grand Prix weekend when he said he didn’t want to wait until the offseason to confirm McLaren’s 2015 lineup.

The team’s current lineup of Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen have had their moments of brilliance this year, but like in 2013 (Button and Sergio Perez), neither’s been an all-star outside of perhaps one or two Grands Prix.

McLaren could, hypothetically, be in a situation as it has done in the past where it could sign either Vettel or Alonso for 2016 – a year out. It’s been able to do this in the past by signing Juan Pablo Montoya for 2005 at the end of 2003, and signing Alonso for the first time for 2007 at the end of 2005.

If that were to happen, that would already put its two 2015 drivers on notice before the season starts, but still give them enough time to prove themselves once more.

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.”