Rosberg disappointed to lose upgraded power unit for Italian GP

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Nico Rosberg feels disappointed to have lost his upgraded power unit for this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix after a problem emerged ahead of qualifying on Saturday.

Mercedes spent all seven of its remaining development tokens on upgrading its power unit for the weekend at Monza, giving Rosberg and teammate Lewis Hamilton a boost for the fastest race on the calendar.

Mercedes also looked to lay the foundations for its 2016 power unit by trialling these upgrades and fast-tracking its engine development.

Both Hamilton and Rosberg laid down an impressive pace in Friday’s practice sessions, but Rosberg was forced to switch back to his old power unit after a problem emerged on Saturday morning.

Without the upgrades, the German driver could only qualify fourth on Saturday at Monza, trailing Hamilton and the Ferrari duo of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.

Speaking to NBCSN after qualifying, Rosberg admitted that he was disappointed, but felt that fast-tracking the development of the power unit was a necessary move with 2016 in mind.

“We learned something and learning is always good and we need to get a head start on next year so I’m sure it was a calculated risk,” Rosberg said.

“Hopefully it’s valuable knowledge. It’s compromised by weekend which is a big disappointment, but for the team, I think it’s been important to do this.”

Rosberg confirmed that Mercedes had found the issue on his new power unit, but that the cause was still to be defined.

“They know what’s happened, but they don’t know why it’s happened, so they need to go back to the factory and analyze that,” Rosberg said.

The Italian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7:30am ET on Sunday.

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.”