Ferrari staying grounded despite strong pre-season display


Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene has called for “concentration and discipline” at Maranello in spite of a strong display by the Prancing Horse across the course of winter testing.

Coming off the back of a woeful 2014 campaign, Ferrari made a good start to testing by topping three of the first four days in Jerez at the beginning of February.

Although the team failed to repeat this feat on any of the eight days of running in Barcelona, Arrivabene said that it had hit all of its objectives for testing. Nevertheless, he remains cautious.

“I can say that we have reached our objectives,” Arrivabene said. “The SF15-T is behaving as we’d expected. Kimi, who drove last last year’s car, sees an improvement and Sebastian, who is driving today, is also happy.

“But we all have our feet on the ground, because we know the other teams aren’t sleeping. It’s clear that Mercedes is there, but we have to concentrate on ourselves. At the moment we have a rough idea of our position relative to the opposition, but we know everyone follows different test programmes.

“Therefore, we are following ours, with concentration and discipline, which I believe are the keys to success. I have spoken to the team and I have made this clear.”

On Saturday, Arrivabene took some time out of his busy schedule to sit with the fans in the main grandstand at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Speaking on Sunday, he said that he believes that plans to limit paddock access even further in F1 would be a mistake.

“I heard that in Australia there will be further restrictions in terms of passes for the paddock and so I thought we might as well get used to going to the grandstands!” Arrivabene said.

“I found the people to be very well educated and polite. These restrictions do not seem acceptable: having an ‘exclusive’ atmosphere doesn’t mean having an empty paddock. Golf is maybe one of the most exclusive sports, but there are thousands of people following the players.”

The 2015 Formula 1 season kicks off in Australia 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.”