Lotus rejects claim Grosjean brake-tested Verstappen


Lotus director of trackside operations Alan Permane has rejected the idea that Romain Grosjean brake-tested Max Verstappen and caused their accident in the Monaco Grand Prix.

Verstappen crashed out of last Sunday’s race after running over the back of Grosjean’s car when trying to overtake at the first corner.

The 17-year-old emerged from the shunt unscathed, but was handed a five-place grid penalty for the Canadian Grand Prix for causing an avoidable incident.

However, Verstappen suggested that Grosjean had brake-tested him by decelerating his car earlier in the corner, thus causing the accident.

“After an unlucky pit stop, I was charging through the field before I got brake-tested and had a hard crash into turn one,” Verstappen wrote on his official website.

Taking to Twitter in the wake of these comments, Permane rejected the idea and explained how Grosjean had in fact braked later than on the previous lap.

Grosjean had been due to finish inside the points for the third race in a row, but the incident left him down in 11th place at the flag. Although he was initially angry with Verstappen, he said after the race that he hoped the crash served as a lesson learned for the rookie driver.

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.”