Hamilton on top again in second Hungary practice


Lewis Hamilton continued his strong start to the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend by finishing quickest in the second free practice session on Friday afternoon.

After topping FP1 in the morning at the Hungaroring, the defending Formula 1 world champion finished three-tenths of a second clear of Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat at the top of the timesheets with a fastest lap time of 1:23.949.

Kvyat emerged as a surprise challenger to Hamilton during the qualifying simulations in the first half of the session, and with Daniel Ricciardo underpinning Red Bull’s pace in third, it appeared that the team had made a big step forwards.

However, the team’s optimism was dashed when Ricciardo suffered an engine failure during the final 20 minutes of the session, bringing out a late red flag.

Nico Rosberg failed to put up much of a fight to Hamilton in the sister Mercedes in FP2, fading to fourth place at the end of the session ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Carlos Sainz Jr.

Ricciardo was not the only driver to be hit with a problem during the session, though. After surviving an early spin, Sebastian Vettel was forced to park up his Ferrari in the garage due to an issue on the car. He eventually finished the session in seventh.

McLaren showed signs of improved pace during FP2 as Fernando Alonso finished eighth ahead of Williams drivers Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa. Jenson Button finished P12 in the sister McLaren, rounding off a good day for the British team.

After missing FP1 to make way for reserve driver Jolyon Palmer, Romain Grosjean returned for FP2 and finished 14th in spite of a spin. Force India opted not to run during the session whilst it continued to investigate the cause of Sergio Perez’s crash in the morning.

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.”