Grosjean pleased to have confirmation for 2014

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Romain Grosjean is pleased to have finally be confirmed as a Lotus driver for 2014, despite a scintillating run of form in the second half of 2013 meaning that it was never really in doubt.

The Frenchman joined Lotus in 2012 after a disappointing half-season with Renault back in 2009. However, his return to the sport threw up a mixed bag of results, as some outstanding performances were juxtaposed by silly mistakes and crashes, the worst of which resulted in a one race ban. In the second half of 2013 though, Grosjean has appeared to be a changed man. In the final six rounds of the season, he finished on the podium four times, picked up one fourth place finish and retired from the final round in Brazil.

“I am very happy to have official confirmation that I will be continuing to drive for Lotus F1 Team next season,” Grosjean explained. “This past year has been tremendously satisfying for me. We have worked well together, and I know everyone at Enstone is motivated to continue the fight for every last point available.

“I am very excited about next year’s car and I cannot wait to get out on track for pre-season testing before heading to Australia for the first race of the season.”

Grosjean will be joined at Lotus by Pastor Maldonado in 2013, who was confirmed by the team as Kimi Raikkonen’s replacement today.

With two former GP2 champions on its books, the team will be hoping to hassle the front-running throughout 2014. For Grosjean, his third full season will give him a chance to lead a team for the first time in his F1 career, having only previously worked alongside Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.

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

IndyCar video game 2024
IndyCar
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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.”