Bottas enters thick of F1 title fight after Austria win, ‘loving every moment’

Leave a comment

Valtteri Bottas entered the thick of the Formula 1 championship fight by taking his second win of the season on Sunday in Austria, giving the Finn the belief he can battle with Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton.

Bottas fended off Vettel in the dying stages at the Red Bull Ring to hold on and take victory for Mercedes, harking back to his maiden F1 win in Russia earlier this year.

Bottas had controlled the race and was more than eight seconds clear of Vettel at one stage, only for a bold strategy from Ferrari to bring the German driver back into contention.

“I had a bit of a déjà vu in the end with what happened in Russia, he was catching up. The problem in the last stint, I had a massive blister on the rear left since lap five of that stint, so that made it quite tricky,” Bottas explained on the podium.

“In the beginning I could control the pace, but in the end the backmarkers made it quite tricky. Really happy, it’s only my second win in my career. Thank you guys for the support. Massive thank you to the team for making this possible, so thank you guys.

“It’s still a long year ahead. We’re not even halfway. This makes good for the points, but it’s still early days and we’re still developing as a team.”

The result saw Bottas draw to within 35 points of Vettel at the front of the drivers’ championship, and is now just 15 back from Hamilton, who has been perceived to be leading Mercedes’ charge this season.

When asked about a title bid, Bottas said: “We’re not even in the halfway of the year, so definitely I believe and the team believes.

“Still a long year ahead. Like I said, we are still developing. I’m just loving every moment and it’s going to be good.”

Despite his jovial mood on the podium, Bottas could not be persuaded to be inducted into the ‘shoey’ club by Daniel Ricciardo, instead hurrying away with his trophy in hand.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

Audi Sport
Leave a comment

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.”