Hamilton: Second place in Barcelona “damage limitation”


MONTMELO – Lewis Hamilton was pleased to finish the Spanish Grand Prix in second place on Sunday after fighting back from a poor start to follow home Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton failed to make a good getaway from P2 on the grid, dropping behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel into the first corner and nearly losing out to Williams’ Valtteri Bottas.

Running third, Hamilton was struggling to find a way past Vettel, lamenting the lack of grip when running in the German’s dirty air. Mercedes reacted by switching him to a three-stop strategy, allowing the Briton to get past Vettel upon making his final pit stop.

“It’s been quite a long time since I’ve had such a bad start,” Hamilton said. “I tried my best to recover and nearly dropped back to fourth at the start, so I was very fortunate to keep third.

“Unfortunately this track is not very good for overtaking – actually it’s the worst for overtaking. It’s impossible to follow here. I don’t know how it was further back, but for the guys at the front, it doesn’t matter what you do, which is a shame.

“I did everything I could behind Sebastian. [I] did enough in the first stint I think but then had a very long pit stop. Then I had to kind of do it all again.

“Fortunately towards the end, it was enough on a three-stop to get by. I’m grateful that I could get those points for the team, and it’s kind of damage limitation.”

Following Rosberg’s win, the Briton’s lead at the top of the drivers’ championship has been cut to 20 points, but he remains the man in control ahead of F1’s most glamorous race, the Monaco Grand Prix, in two weeks’ time.

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.”