Hulkenberg and Magnussen receive five-place grid drops in Russia

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Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen are both set to receive a five-place grid penalty for this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix after gearbox changes ahead of qualifying later today.

Hulkenberg pulled over at the side of the track to retire from last weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix on the last lap at Suzuka, but following the red flag shown for Jules Bianchi’s accident, the results were backdated by one lap. This meant that Hulkenberg had technically finished the race.

In his technical delegate’s report, FIA representative Jo Bauer confirmed that Force India’s decision to change the gearbox on Hulkenberg’s car did not comply with the regulations, warranting a five-place grid drop.

“[Hulkenberg] did finish the last race in Suzuka and this gearbox change was before the six consecutive events expired,” a statement reads. “Therefore, this is not in compliance with Article 28.6a of the 2014 Formula 1 Sporting Regulations.”

As a result, the German driver will drop five places on the grid from his qualifying position later today in Sochi.

Kevin Magnussen will also drop five spots as he requires a gearbox change following his stoppage in FP3, leaving McLraren with a small repair job ahead of qualifying. Pastor Maldonado also has to serve a further five places of his 10-place grid penalty from Japan.

The FIA has also confirmed that the pit lane speed limit has been reduced from 80km/h to 60km/h to make the entry to the pits safer.

You can watch qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7am ET.

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.”