Vettel wary of Mercedes threat in Singapore

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Sebastian Vettel may have dominated the second practice session today in Singapore, but he is wary of closest-rivals Mercedes as the Silver Arrows look to bounce back from two disappointing weekends at Spa and Monza.

The German driver finished fastest in FP2, a full six-tenths ahed than his teammate Mark Webber and over one second clear of Mercedes’ pairing of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. His pace on the super-soft tire was highly impressive, yet he is refusing to get carried away and pre-empt a third straight win in Singapore.

“It was quite busy; it’s pretty hot out there, good fun and a nice place, but for all of us it’s quite hard work,” Vettel said after practice on Friday. “The time we set was a surprise today, I got a good lap in, but I don’t think it’s completely representative.

“We seem to be quick, but I think Mercedes will be very strong in qualifying tomorrow.”

The defending world champion also praised the changes made to turn ten for this year’s race. The old three-part chicane was removed due to concerns from the drivers, believing that it was unsuitable for an F1 car.

“I think turn ten is the best solution we have with the space that’s available,” Vettel said.

The move was also supported by Lewis Hamilton, who said yesterday: “It can’t be any worse than it was.”

Vettel has the opportunity to extend his lead in the drivers’ championship to over sixty points here in Singapore, which would dash all hopes his rivals may have had of preventing him from clinching a fourth straight title.

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”