Rosberg rues lack of rhythm after ending second in USGP


AUSTIN – Qualifying was set up for Lewis Hamilton on the strength of dominating practice. Then after taking pole, the 2014 United States Grand Prix was set up for Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg to capture what would have been a crucial victory in the World Championship.

But when Rosberg needed to deliver – and when Hamilton was vulnerable given his braking issues that cost him dearly on Saturday – he was unable to pull it off.

MORE: Watch a full replay of the U.S. Grand Prix

Rosberg held the edge in the opening stint, leading away from pole, and had a slightly quicker pit stop than Hamilton when the pair pitted a lap apart to switch from Pirelli’s soft to medium tires.

However, Rosberg lost ground in the middle stint and Hamilton was able to make it through courtesy of a run to the inside on Lap 24.

Hamilton pulled the gap to more than 1 second shortly after completing the move, which made another DRS-aided rebuttal impossible.

For Rosberg, he said post-race he was unable to get into a proper rhythm and failed to properly defend against Hamilton’s closing.

“It’s pretty simple. I didn’t find my rhythm early on until after Lewis passed me,” Rosberg admitted. “I knew there was a chance he’d try a pass. I was halfway defensive, but Lewis did a good job and that was it. I finally found a rhythm 5-10 laps later, but it was too late.”

An outside chance existed for Rosberg to close the gap back within the final 5 to 10 laps of the 56-lap race. A number of drivers at the back of the 15 remaining runners – the two Lotus-Renaults and Jean-Eric Vergne in his Toro Rosso, among others – were all in striking distance as the Mercedes pair lapped through.

Hamilton navigated the traffic slightly better and was able to extend the gap to Rosberg to an ultimate margin of victory of 4.314 seconds.

Now down 24 points to Hamilton as a result of this race, Rosberg said he won’t change his strategy heading into the final two Grands Prix of the season.

But, ultimately, he’ll have to beat his teammate at Interlagos next weekend if he is to have a fighting chance heading into the double points finale at Abu Dhabi.

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.”