Hamilton draws first blood in Canadian GP practice


Lewis Hamilton made a perfect start to his Canadian Grand Prix race weekend by topping the timesheets in this morning’s first free practice session at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

The defending Formula 1 world champion posted a fastest lap time of 1:16.212 to beat Mercedes teammate and title rival Nico Rosberg by 0.415 seconds at the end of the 90-minute session.

With engine power being key around the semi-permanent street circuit, the teams using Mercedes engines quickly made their pace clear, filling six of the top ten positions.

Hamilton, a three-time winner in Montreal, did not have a perfect first practice though as he suffered a spin at the hairpin in the final 30 minutes of the session. However, Rosberg was unable to get close to the Briton after he was forced to bail on his quickest flying lap.

Romain Grosjean emerged as the surprise package of the session by finishing in third place for Lotus, albeit 1.5 seconds down on Hamilton’s fastest time. Nico Hulkenberg put in a solid display for Force India to rank fourth ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Williams’ Felipe Massa.

Daniil Kvyat finished as the only Renault-powered driver inside the top ten, coming seventh for Red Bull as the British team’s hopes of a third straight win in Montreal already fade. Pastor Maldonado completed more laps than any other driver en route to P8, whilst Fernando Alonso and Max Verstappen finished ninth and tenth respectively.

Hamilton was not the only driver to spin his car on the slippery circuit, as Bottas and Carlos Sainz Jr also lost control momentarily. Sainz’s session came to an early end after he stopped at the end of the pit lane with ten minutes remaining.

Ferrari may have made some progress with its engine, but for the time being, it appears that Mercedes has lost none of its advantage since the race in Monaco.

Be sure to join us for FP2 live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 2pm ET on Friday. For full details on our broadcasting of the Canadian Grand Prix, click here.

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.”