Vettel upbeat despite engine troubles in Singapore


Sebastian Vettel’s faint hopes of winning a fourth straight Singapore Grand Prix took a hit in practice when an engine failure forced him to sit out most of the second session on Friday night.

However, the German driver remains upbeat about his chances this weekend, believing that the pace of the RB10 is good around the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

In FP1, Vettel finished fourth behind Fernando Alonso and the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. However, after posting his final time at the end of the session, he was ordered to quickly stop his car and pull over at the end of the pit lane. The team then wheeled his stricken vehicle back to the garage with a suspected engine failure.

For most of the second session – some two hours later – Vettel was left sitting out of his car as the team worked to repair the problem. In the end, it was fixed with just 10 minutes remaining, allowing the four-time world champion to complete five laps and post a lap time good enough for fifth place in the final classification.

“Was today unlucky? I don’t believe in good luck and bad luck,” Vettel said. “I think we did a lot in the last few years that was right and we weren’t just lucky then. This year it’s a bit different and we have had some problems, but that’s part of life.

“We have overcome the troubles that we have had and it’s progressively getting better. In terms of pace it’s looking good this weekend. It was important to get a good feel on the super-soft tire.”

Vettel was quick to thank his team for repairing the car so quickly, replacing the engine – usually a four-hour job – in just three.

“The mechanics were pushing hard and changed the engine in less than three hours after FP1, which is a massive job, so thanks to them that I was able to get out in the second session.”

Vettel will not face a penalty for changing his engine as it was his ‘practice’ unit, and the team would have reverted to another one for tomorrow’s running anyway.

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.”