Maldonado remains confident of points following tough start to 2015

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Pastor Maldonado remains confident that he can score his first points for the 2015 Formula 1 season at next weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix despite currently sitting at the bottom of the drivers’ championship standings.

With five retirements and one 15th-place finish from the first six races of the season, Maldonado lies behind both Manor drivers and Fernando Alonso, all of whom also have zero points to their name.

That said, of the four drivers currently without points, Maldonado has perhaps looked the most capable of doing so, often running inside the top ten before a problem on his car has forced him to retire.

This was true of the last race in Monaco, when the Venezuelan was forced to retire early on due to a brake-by-wire system failure on his car. He had started the race from eighth place on the grid and looked poised to pick up some points.

“Of course it was frustrating, but that’s the way that racing goes sometimes,” Maldonado said, reflecting on last weekend’s race. “There were lots of positives; we qualified well and the car felt good on the track.

“Unfortunately there was an issue with a part and the only alternative was to retire the car. That’s racing sometimes.”

Lotus has made a far better start to the 2015 season thanks to the all-new E23 Hybrid car, which is powered by a Mercedes engine. Maldonado is sure that no matter what the circuit is, the car is capable of taking him into the top ten, filling him with hope ahead of the race in Montreal next weekend.

“I’ve approaching every race wanting to finish in the points,” he said. “The circuit in Canada has its own challenges but there’s nothing to say we shouldn’t be fast there. This year’s car has felt good so I’ll be pushing for points in the race.

“At most of the races this year we’ve looked strong all through the weekend and it’s been the final piece of crossing the finish line in the points which has been out of reach. That’s what we want this weekend.”

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.”