Vettel relishing first Italian GP in Ferrari colors


Sebastian Vettel is relishing the opportunity to race in the Italian Grand Prix as a Ferrari driver for the first time at Monza this weekend.

Vettel, a lifelong Ferrari fan, joined the Italian marque for 2015 after spending the entirety of his Formula 1 career racing under Red Bull’s umbrella.

The German driver has made a strong start to life at Maranello, winning two races so far this season en route to third place in the championship standings behind Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

The Italian Grand Prix boasts one of the most unique atmospheres on the F1 calendar thanks to the tens of thousands of Ferrari fans – the Tifosi – that will make the trip to Monza.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s race, Vettel spoke about his hopes of standing on the podium and giving the Ferrari fans plenty to smile about in his first outing for the team at Monza.

“Obviously I’ve heard lots of good things,” Vettel said. “I’ve been here before so obviously [I know] the passion for Ferrari, so obviously very much looking forward to becoming part of that.

“If we do well, which is our target, and we manage to be on the podium on Sunday I’m looking forward to not receiving booing for a long time.

“So, yeah, plenty of stuff to look forward to. So far we have had a great season.”

Vettel also explained how he is treating the Italian Grand Prix as his home race for 2015 given the absence of a race in Germany.

“This is our home grand prix as a team and since I didn’t have a home grand prix this year I adopt this one as well,” Vettel said.

“Hopefully we can make it a good one.”

The Italian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra this weekend. For more information, 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.”