Mercedes regains constructor’s lead with first 2017 1-2 in Canada

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Mercedes AMG Petronas has enjoyed a steady stream of 1-2 finishes since 2014. However, the team had yet to do so in the first six rounds of the 2017 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season.

Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix, however, saw them return to their previously dominant form, with Lewis Hamilton leading Valtteri Bottas home for the team’s first 1-2 finish since last year’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, when Hamilton led home Nico Rosberg.

MONTREAL, QC – JUNE 11: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO8 celebrates on track during the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 11, 2017 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

The result also comes on the tenth anniversary of Hamilton’s first career Formula 1 victory, which occurred at this event back in 2007.

“I had my first pole here, win here 10 years ago. To repeat it is special, the guys back at the factory, (it) is special. We really gave it to the Ferraris. Valtteri came (second) too to give great points,” said an elated Hamilton on the podium.

Bottas, too, continues a strong record at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, with his third consecutive podium at the track in in five appearances.

MONTREAL, QC – JUNE 11: Valtteri Bottas driving the (77) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO8 on track during the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 11, 2017 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

“Fifth time here and third time on the podium. It’s a good place for me. As a team we really needed this 1-2. After a tough race in Monaco we improved so much in two weeks. So very proud to be a part of this,” Bottas revealed on the podium.

Bottas ran the second half of the race on Pirelli’s softs, gambling after being behind Esteban Ocon’s Force India in the first stint.

“At the beginning it was a bit tough being behind Red Bull. I got stuck behind a Force India and lost time,” he explained. “Then I went softs. (Lewis) controlled the race after that. For me it was bring the car home, bring good points. This was great. Looking forward to Baku.”

The result also vaults Mercedes into the lead in the constructor’s championship ahead of Scuderia Ferrari, with the tallies currently standing at 222 points for Mercedes and 214 for Ferrari.

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix is next up on the Formula 1 calendar (June 25, NBCSN).

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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.”