Gamble fails to pay off for Grosjean in qualifying

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Romain Grosjean has said that his early elimination during qualifying for the Indian Grand Prix was nothing more than a gamble that went wrong, with the result bringing to an end a string of excellent performances by the Frenchman.

Lotus opted to send Grosjean out on the medium compound in Q1 in order to try and save a set of option tires for the final session on Saturday. However, this move backfired spectacularly as he dropped from fifth to seventeenth and was eliminated alongside Pastor Maldonado, both Caterhams and both Marussias.

“We took a gamble once again to try just one run on the prime tires in Q1, and although it’s been a successful tactic for us recently it didn’t pay off this time,” Grosjean explained after qualifying. “The times were much tighter than expected and ultimately we made a miscalculation with the cut-off time.”

Like many, Grosjean’s hopes in the race hinge on his strategy, but the Frenchman conceded that from seventeenth on the grid it will take a titanic effort to come away from India with a sizeable haul of points.

“We’ll have to pull off something quite special with the strategy to take anything from there, but of course we’ll analyze the options overnight to see what’s possible,” he explained. “For sure, we won’t be leading after the first corner this time, but we’ll do our best.”

This is the second time in 2013 that Grosjean has failed to make it through to Q2, also missing out thanks to changeable conditions during qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix back in June.

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.”