Grosjean reveals Lotus escape clause


AUSTIN – Romain Grosjean said during Thursday’s FIA press conference he can choose to leave Lotus at year’s end based on a performance clause, but still expects the team to be better next year than this one.

“For a long time I’ve said that Lotus will be much better next year than they are this year, for a few reasons,” he said. “There’s been a lot of work at the factory and the fact that the team brings a new nose here just to try to prepare for 2015 is a strong sign.

“I have a contract with the team. I have the option to leave if I want to – this is from some performance clause. So far there are still places available at top teams or they haven’t been confirmed and that’s there where I want to be in the near future and that’s what we try to do.”

With Grosjean’s former Lotus boss Eric Boullier at McLaren, that’s been bandied about as an option, but that would seem to be the only other top-line opportunity for the Frenchman.

Alas, Grosjean is still in an upbeat mood heading into the offseason. Grosjean recently announced he and his wife are expecting their second child.

“At least that worked!” Grosjean joked. “So, pretty good timing as well for next year.

“I think personally I had a tough season with the results but outside the track I lost four people that were very close to me, the next one being the boss of Total, Christophe de Margerie, last week or the week before.

“So I thought it was important to announce good news. We have support in tough times but now we have support in good times and I am glad to be the father of a family of almost four people.”


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.”