Whitmarsh targeting top ten finishes in final six races

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Martin Whitmarsh has said that he would like McLaren to score regular top ten finishes in the final six races of the 2013 Formula One season, drawing a curtain across a difficult year for all involved at the team.

Having been regular front-runners for the best part of a decade, 2013 has seen McLaren drop to being the fifth fastest team on the grid with Jenson Button and Sergio Perez failing to finish on the podium so far this season. However, Whitmarsh has not put any pressure on the team to go out and win races in the final third of the year, instead preferring consistent point scoring finishes that will keep McLaren in fifth place in the constructors’ championship.

“We go into these final races with the very clear intention of consolidating our position in the constructors’ championship,” Whitmarsh explained. “While improving our position sadly looks impossible, it’s important to consistently achieve top-ten finishes with both drivers in order to strengthen our points cushion over our closest rivals behind. We achieved that in Singapore and will be looking for similar performances from now until the end of the season.

“That may not be a particularly glamorous task for a team that enjoys winning, but it nonetheless calls for constant application, focus and commitment as we count down the remaining races during this important phase of the season.”

Button currently boasts the team’s best finish of fifth at the Chinese Grand Prix, with Sergio Perez thought to be under pressure for 2014 after a difficult first year at Woking, having moved to McLaren after two years at Sauber. The team will be keen on taking advantage of the great change in the regulations next year to return to the head of the field, but in the short-term, it is merely a case of doing the best job possible and finishing in the points.

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.”