Tost convinced Verstappen is the right man for Toro Rosso

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Scuderia Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost is convinced that 16-year-old Max Verstappen is the right driver to take the team forwards upon his F1 debut in 2015.

Verstappen’s swift promotion into an F1 seat after just one year in single seaters has caused a stir in racing circles, with many believing that he is too young and too inexperienced.

1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve was one of Verstappen’s most hostile critics, calling his appointment “the worst thing ever for F1”.

However, Tost is certain that the Dutchman is the right driver to join Toro Rosso alongside 2o-year-old Daniil Kvyat after some successful first tests for the team.

“Max Verstappen did, last week, a test in Adria,” Tost explained. “He finished by doing 396km without any problem. People were really impressed with his performance and now it’s in the hands of the FIA whether he gets a superlicence to do the Friday P1 session in Suzuka and then we will see.

“We will prepare him step by step and I am convinced that he is the correct driver for us for 2015.”

Verstappen was originally set to take part in practice at the final three grands prix of the 2014 season in Austin, Brazil and Abu Dhabi, but this has now been brought forwards.

His initial running has been well-received by the team despite his relative inexperience, and it seems for all of the concerns and worries many have raised about the Dutchman, he is well on his way to making his F1 debut in Australia next March.

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.”