Bottas and Massa to remain with Williams for 2016

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Williams Martini Racing has confirmed that Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa will remain with the team for the 2016 Formula 1 season.

Bottas and Massa first became teammates in 2014 following the latter’s arrival from Ferrari in place of Pastor Maldonado, and their partnership is set to extend into a third year in 2016.

The team had been expected to make some kind of change to its line-up following speculation that Bottas would be joining Ferrari for 2016 in place of Kimi Raikkonen.

However, after Ferrari opted to retain Raikkonen two weeks ago, Williams moved swiftly to confirm that Bottas will be remaining with the team for the final year of his contract.

“I am really pleased to be staying with the team for a fourth F1 race season,” Bottas said. “We have been getting stronger as a team and I look forward to what next year will bring, as I believe we can achieve even stronger results than what we have seen so far.

“I can’t wait for 2016, however I am still fully focused on this season as we still have plenty of challenges to achieve.”

Massa currently sits fifth in the drivers’ championship, three points clear of Bottas. The Brazilian was pleased to confirm that he would be staying with Williams for 2016, extending his F1 career into a 14th year.

“I am very happy to be a part of the Williams family,” Massa said. “I am in my second year here and am so pleased to be staying as we are working very well together as a team.

“They respect me a lot and the results are there, and it has been so nice to be part of the big turnaround the team has seen since the end of 2013. I can’t wait to carry on and continue pushing even more for the team, and for myself.”

Williams has enjoyed an impressive revival in F1 over the past two years, bouncing back from the backend of the midfield to become the third best team in the sport behind Mercedes and Ferrari.

Team boss Sir Frank Williams spoke about the importance of stability and continuity following this announcement, expressing his delight with both of his drivers.

“I’m delighted to confirm that Felipe and Valtteri will be racing for Williams once again next year,” Williams said.

“Stability is key for any team to thrive in F1, so to be able to enter a third season with one of the strongest driver line-ups on the grid puts Williams in a fantastic position to continue its momentum towards the front of the grid in 2016.”

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.”