Sutil: Verstappen is a risky choice for Toro Rosso


Sauber driver Adrian Sutil has said that the promotion of Dutch youngster Max Verstappen to a full-time seat in Formula 1 is a risky move for Toro Rosso.

Red Bull’s junior team confirmed earlier this week that the FIA F3 driver would be moving up to a full-time seat alongside Daniil Kvyat in 2015, following just one season of racing in single seaters.

The move has sparked a debate over whether or not Verstappen is too young to be racing in F1, given that he will be just 17 years old when he makes his debut. Although Sutil was open to the idea, he thinks that it is still a risky move for Toro Rosso.

“It’s quite a risky move,” he said. “Very surprising for everyone that after just doing half of the season in Formula 3, he has already been announced as a Formula 1 driver, so it might be very early but anyway, we’ll see.

“There are certain drivers who can manage that, like [Kimi] Raikkonen, he had only one season in Formula Renault, and performed incredibly well, so it’s possible that it works again.

“He has some good support with his Dad [ex-F1 driver Jos], for sure he is definitely well supported in every area, but I think you still need a bit of driving before you go into Formula 1.

“Maybe a few more years in car racing. We will see, I wish him luck, we’ll see him soon. I’ve seen him a few times at the Formula 3 track, he’s a good guy, and I’m happy for him. I think he’s a very proud young guy and at home right now.”

Sutil was coy when asked about his own chances of being on the grid with Verstappen in 2015, but hinted that he may be set to stay with Sauber as an option for 2015.

“Yes, I know already since last year where I was going to be next year,” he confirmed. “I can’t really comment more on it.”

Sauber is yet to confirm its drivers for 2015, but with Sutil, teammate Esteban Gutierrez and reserve drivers Sergey Sirotkin, Giedo van der Garde and Simona de Silvestro vying for a seat, there will be an open fight at the Swiss team.

Sutil has endured a difficult season with the C33 car, failing to score any points in the first eleven races. However, in Hungary, the German driver appeared to be closer to the top ten, and could make another step forwards this weekend in Belgium.

As for Verstappen, the jury still appears to be out. He will smash the record for being the youngest driver to race in Formula 1 in Australia next season, but the pressure will be on for him to justify Toro Rosso’s decision to promote him to a full-time seat ahead of the more experienced hats of Carlos Sainz Jr. and Antonio Felix da Costa.

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.”