Sauber hits back in legal row with Giedo van der Garde

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Monisha Kaltenborn has said that Sauber will do everything in its power to protect its interests in the face of a legal challenge from former reserve driver Giedo van der Garde.

On Thursday, it was revealed that van der Garde was seeking a court injunction to force Sauber into giving him a race seat for the upcoming Australian Grand Prix, believing that the team has breached the terms of his contract.

Van der Garde claims that he signed a contract that ensured him a full-time race seat with the team in 2015, only for Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson to be named as its drivers for the upcoming season.

On Friday, Kaltenborn responded by saying the team would do everything possible to safeguard its interests in Formula 1.

“As this matter is currently before the courts it would be inappropriate for me to comment on specific details,” the Sauber team principal said.

“However, we will take all necessary steps to protect our company, this team and its interests. Last year was a challenging time for us but going into the 2015 season we have been focused on putting steps in place to ensure that we are delivering the best outcomes for F1’s fans.”

Van der Garde’s case will be heard by the Victoria Supreme Court in Melbourne on Monday, with the entry list for next weekend’s Australian Grand Prix set to be finalized on Thursday 12 March.

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.”