Adrian Sutil joins Williams as reserve driver

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Williams Martini Racing has confirmed the signing of veteran grand prix racer Adrian Sutil as its reserve driver for the 2015 season.

Sutil made his F1 debut back in 2007 for Force India, and spent seven seasons with the team before moving to Sauber for 2014.

However, both the driver and the team struggled to find any kind of form, finishing without a single point from the full season.

Despite having a contract to race with Sauber in 2015, Sutil was dropped to make way for Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson at the team.

The German driver had been linked with a move into the FIA World Endurance Chanpionship, but has now been confirmed in a reserve role at Williams.

“Williams Martini Racing is pleased to announce Adrian Sutil as its official Reserve Driver for the 2015 FIA Formula One World Championship season,” a statement from the team read.

“Adrian will spend time in the team’s race simulator to ensure he is fully accustomed to the Williams Mercedes FW37 controls and procedures, should he be required to step into the cockpit at any time during the current season.

“He has also spent time integrating himself into the team to ensure he is fully prepared to join Williams Martini Racing at any event, should the need arise.”

Sutil will work alongside team test driver Susie Wolff and development driver Alex Lynn in supporting full-time racers Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa in 2015, and will be hoping to draw on his experience of 128 Formula 1 grands prix.

“I’m very proud to be a part of such a famous and great F1 team,” Sutil said. “To work for Sir Frank Williams and his team means a lot to me. I would like to thank everyone at Williams for their belief in my qualities and the opportunity to work with such a successful and competitive outfit.”

Sutil’s appointment also removes the uncertainty about who would deputize for either Massa or Bottas should they be unable to race. Bottas was forced to miss the Australian Grand Prix due to a back injury that some feared would also rule him out of this weekend’s race in Malaysia. However, he has since been declared fit by the FIA.

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.”