Ricciardo quickest for Red Bull on day two in Barcelona (VIDEO)


Daniel Ricciardo has finished fastest on the second day of running at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as the F1 pre-season hit its halfway point.

With six days down and six to go in winter testing, Ricciardo put in an impressive display for Red Bull by finishing quickest with a lap time of 1:24.574.

The team also managed to iron out most of the minor issues that had limited its running on Thursday as the Australian completed 143 laps at the top of the timesheets.

After a frenetic first day of testing in Barcelona on Thursday, Friday was far quieter in comparison. There were still three red flag periods, with one that lasted just 12 seconds being issued for Ricciardo after his car stopped at the end of the pit lane. The team soon wheeled him back to the garage and then sent him out again a few minutes later.

Ricciardo went on to complete a full race simulation of 66 laps on Friday, with his fastest lap going unbeaten at the top of the timesheets during the afternoon session.

Kimi Raikkonen continued Ferrari’s impressive pre-season form in second place, finishing just ten-thousandths of a second shy of Ricciardo’s best time. The Finn will next get behind the wheel of the SF15-T at the final test in Barcelona as he hands the reins over to Sebastian Vettel for the final two days of this test. Felipe Massa and Sergio Perez followed the Ferrari driver on the timesheets in third and fourth place respectively.

After coming down with a fever on Thursday, Lewis Hamilton made a surprise return to the track today after taking over from Nico Rosberg for the afternoon session. Mercedes confirmed that it opted to stand Rosberg down after the morning running to ensure that the German driver remains fresh for his next run on Sunday.

Both Silver Arrows put in an impressive display, with Hamilton finishing fifth ahead of Rosberg in P6. However, the drivers posted their fastest lap times on the medium tire, suggesting that they have plenty of time in reserve. The reliability of the W06 Hybrid was also evident once again as the team completed over 150 laps.

McLaren had not expected to manage any meaningful mileage after a failure on the MGU-K curtailed its Thursday running, with a new part not expected to arrive until Saturday. Nevertheless, Fernando Alonso still managed to complete 59 laps, even if the car could not manage more than five or six at a time.

2014 GP2 champion Jolyon Palmer began life in his reserve driver role at Lotus by completing all of the team’s running on Friday in Barcelona. A morning full of aero evaluations and tests meant that he could only manage 77 laps in total, managing a fastest time of 1:26.280 that left him eighth in the classification.

Following Ricciardo’s short stoppage, there were two red flags later on in the day. The second stoppage came courtesy of Carlos Sainz Jr. after a spin at turn nine, ending up in the gravel. The Toro Rosso driver still managed to rack up of 100 laps, but propped up the standings down in tenth place.

Just ahead of Sainz was Marcus Ericsson for Sauber, who stopped on the main straight in the final hour of running to warrant the third and final red flag of the day.

At the top though, Ricciardo put in an impressive display to finish ahead of Raikkonen and Massa, but the advantage does still appear to lie with Mercedes for the time being. With six days of running left until the start of the season, all of the teams will be hoping to up their pace and get everything in line before they leave Barcelona next weekend.

Barcelona Day 2 – Final Classification

1. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:24.574 (143 laps)
2. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:24.585 +0.010 (90)
3. Felipe Massa Williams 1:24.672 +0.098 (88)
4. Sergio Perez Force India 1:24.702 +0.128 (121)
5. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:24.923 +0.349 (89)
6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:25.556 +0.982 (66)
7. Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:25.961 +1.387 (59)
8. Jolyon Palmer Lotus 1:26.280 +1.706 (77)
9. Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:27.334 +2.760 (113)
10. Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso 1:28.945 +4.371 (100)

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.”