Rosberg fastest in disjointed final Canadian GP practice


Nico Rosberg finished fastest in the third and final practice for the Canadian Grand Prix as two red flags left many of the teams without a complete programme of running ahead of qualifying later today.

The Mercedes driver recorded the fastest lap time of the race weekend so far with a 1:15.660 towards the end of FP3, giving him an advantage of half a second over Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen in second place.

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton propped up the timesheets down in 20th place after failing to complete a representative quick lap, with both of his fast runs being interrupted by a red flag period.

Mercedes opted to wait for conditions to warm up before sending its drivers out, with Hamilton bailing on his fast run after locking up at the hairpin and going off track.

The session was then interrupted when Felipe Nasr smashed into the wall on the Casino Straight after weaving in a bid to keep his tires warm. The Brazilian was taken to the medical centre after the incident whilst the marshals cleared up the debris on track.

With 11 minutes remaining, the session restarted and most of the teams opted to head out on the super-soft tire to put in a final quick run ahead of qualifying. Rosberg and Raikkonen exchanged fastest laps, but the red flag was soon out again after Jenson Button’s McLaren stopped on track.

The red flag remained until the end of the session, leaving Rosberg in top spot ahead of Raikkonen and Lotus driver Romain Grosjean. Valtteri Bottas finished fourth for Williams, whilst Sergio Perez’s good form in Montreal as he finished fifth.

Daniil Kvyat came sixth for Red Bull, and was followed by Felipe Massa and Sebastian Vettel. Carlos Sainz Jr and Pastor Maldonado rounded out the top ten.

With none of the teams getting in a full programme of practice running, there is still plenty to play for in qualifying later today live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 1pm ET.

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.”