Sauber driver decision due before end of 2014 F1 season


Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn has said that a decision about the team’s driver line-up for the 2015 Formula 1 season will be made before the end of the current campaign.

The Swiss team has endured a miserable season in 2014, which is poised to be its worst ever in Formula 1 unless it can improve on its current rank of P10 in the constructors’ championship with zero points.

There have been some concerns about the team’s future amid talk of three-car teams in 2015, but Kaltenborn seems confident that Sauber will be on the grid next season, and told the official F1 website that a decision on its driver line-up will come in the next couple of months.

“We do have several options and we plan to announce our driver line-up towards the end of the season,” she said. “We will not speculate with any names.”

The list of names being linked to a seat at Sauber is the longest on the grid. From within the team, you have current drivers Esteban Gutierrez and Adrian Sutil, reserve drivers Giedo van der Garde and Sergey Sirotkin, and affiliate driver Simona de Silvestro, formerly of IndyCar.

Outside of Sauber, Williams test driver Felipe Nasr is known to be angling for a seat at the team after Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas were confirmed at the British team. Marussia’s Jules Bianchi could also be in the running if Ferrari (his parent team) looked to secure him a seat further up the grid.

In a wide-ranging interview, Kaltenborn expressed her belief that 2014’s struggle is only a temporary one for Sauber ahead of a revival next year.

“We have not forgotten how to make good cars,” she said. “This year’s challenger is not one of our good cars, but it’s also not the worst car.

“We know why this all is happening. We know where we went wrong, but we also see that the powertrain plays an important role this year – that has been proven by other powertrains throughout the grid.

“We do not have the most competitive one, which makes it very difficult for a team like ours when you are limited on the resources to try and compensate, but we have to live with that and I am sure that our engine supplier is doing everything because they [Ferrari] are suffering equally. So we both have to go through this.”

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.”