Allison pleased with Ferrari race pace in testing

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Ferrari technical director James Allison is pleased with what the team has achieved during pre-season testing as the Italian marque looks to bounce back from a disastrous 2014.

Ferrari finished fourth in last year’s constructors’ championship, marking its worst season in F1 since 1993. Fernando Alonso led the team’s charge with two podium finishes, but was ousted at the end of the year to make room for four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Throughout pre-season testing, Ferrari has certainly fared far better than it did in 2014, showing a one-lap pace that is comparable to that of Williams and Red Bull.

On Saturday, Kimi Raikkonen completed the team’s first full race simulation in Barcelona, and Allison was pleased with what had been achieved.

“We’ve got a lot of laps under our belt in this winter testing, but until you actually go out and do the laps for a race, one after the other, and not stopping except to change tires, you really can’t claim that you’re ready to go to Melbourne and do it for real,” Allison said.

“So we’re happy to get our first race distance of the winter done, happy to have achieved at the first attempt, and with the reliability that we showed. I’m pleased with the testing we did over the last two days, which shows clearly that the car works as we expected.

“I think what we see is a well-mannered car, so we expect these characteristics to be broadly carried over to the other races.”

Sebastian Vettel will complete Ferrari’s winter testing programme in Barcelona on Sunday, with the season-opening Australian Grand Prix being held in two weeks’ time on March 15.

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.”