Alonso ready to return to ‘day job’ in F1 after Indy 500 adventure

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Fernando Alonso says he is ready to return to his “day job” in Formula 1 at this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix following his Indianapolis 500 adventure.

McLaren-Honda driver Alonso opted to skip the Monaco Grand Prix in order to make his debut in the Indy 500 at the end of May, where he qualified fifth and ran at the head of the pack in the race before retiring due to an engine failure.

Despite being without points in F1 so far this season, Alonso is relishing his return to the McLaren-Honda MCL32 after receiving positive feedback from teammate Stoffel Vandoorne and stand-in Jenson Button over the Monaco weekend.

“It’s good to be heading back to Canada. It feels like I’ve spent a lot of time in North America recently!” Alonso said.

“The Indy 500 was an incredible experience and it’s been amazing to learn a completely different style of driving, on a different circuit layout and with a very different car, but I’m ready to get back to my ‘day job’ and go racing in F1 again.

“While I was in Indy I was still keeping up-to-date with the news from Monaco, and Stoffel and Jenson both reported positively on the new upgrades and reliability, so I hope we can continue to see a step forward in Canada.”

While Alonso conceded that the power-hungry nature of the circuit in Montreal will play against McLaren, he is nevertheless looking forward to embedding himself back in the team’s F1 operation.

“The layout of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve means it’s very power-limited and therefore dependent on straight-line speed and power,” Alonso said.

“It’s not going to suit our car as much as the twisty, slower corners of Monaco, but I’m excited to get back in the MCL32, catch up with the guys and girls in the team and get back out on track – not only turning left this time!”

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.”