Hamilton takes heart from run to P4 in Austria, limits points loss

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Lewis Hamilton took heart from his run to fourth place in Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix, ensuring that Formula 1 title rival Sebastian Vettel’s championship lead only stands at 20 points.

Hamilton was resigned to eighth place on the starting grid in Spielberg after a gearbox change triggered a five-place penalty earlier in the week.

Hamilton ran fourth heading into the closing stages after a charge on the ultra-softs late on thanks to his reverse strategy, but failed to make a pass on Daniel Ricciardo, crossing the line 1.4 seconds further back.

“It’s been a difficult weekend, but I can take heart that I limited the damage to Sebastian in the points and that I went forward through the field,” Hamilton said after the race.

“The car was great today, I could push the entire race on the tires and I gave it absolutely everything out there.

“I really don’t think there was much left in the car at the end of the race, but I was probably a bit too kind in my fight with Daniel – and left him too much space. I won’t do that again.”

Finishing fourth, Hamilton lost more ground on F1 title rival Vettel in the championship standings, but is happy to have limited the damage of a rough weekend.

“We’ve slipped further behind Sebastian again, but there’s a long way to go. I’ll keep battling and I’ll never give up,” Hamilton said, before praising race-winning teammate Valtteri Bottas.

“Valtteri did a great job all weekend and thoroughly deserves the win. He’s just 15 points behind me now and he’s very much in this title fight.”

Hamilton’s attention now turns to his home grand prix at Silverstone next weekend where he hopes to kick-start a better run of form.

“I’m really looking forward to Silverstone. I’ve got a few days to put this weekend behind me, I can’t wait to see the home crowd again and start with a clean slate,” Hamilton said.

“I hope I can use Silverstone as a springboard for the second half of my season.”

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.”