Under-fire Hamilton defends decision to miss London F1 event

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Lewis Hamilton has defended his decision to miss Formula 1’s live event in London on Wednesday, having spent some time in Greece to relax in preparation for this weekend’s British Grand Prix.

F1 hit the streets of London for the first time in 13 years on Wednesday with a special showcase that featured 19 of the 20 current drivers – the exception being Hamilton.

Hamilton’s absence was notable, leading to a barrage of questions being put his way during Thursday’s FIA press conference ahead of the on-track action at Silverstone.

“I’ve tried to prepare the best that I can by being very relaxed over the past few days. I’m excited for the weekend as always,” Hamilton said.

“The championship is the most important thing so coming to the home of motorsport and such an intense weekend as every year it is a must win for a British driver so I’ve tried to prepare the best I could.

“Everyone had the right to make their own decision for themselves, for me I felt that it has been an intense season so far and I needed to prepare the best way that I could for this weekend.

“The season is the most important thing for me, so that’s it.”

Hamilton was asked about the boos his name was greeted with by the crowds in London when he was announced, but the three-time world champion brushed it off.

“To be honest I didn’t really know about it. I don’t live here so I was back in Monaco first but I fly a lot longer than that for other trips and I’m usually alright and feeling pretty good,” Hamilton said.

“Right now the sole focus is on this weekend and I’ve received incredible love from the fans every single year I’m here so I’m looking forward to it again this year.”

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.”