Ricciardo delighted with fightback to points at Monza

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Daniel Ricciardo felt delighted to have fought his way up from the final row of the grid to an eighth-place finish in Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Ricciardo was forced to start the race from P19 due to a number of power unit penalties incurred by Red Bull across the course of the weekend.

The Australian made a great start to run 12th after just five laps, and managed to work his way all the way up to seventh place with a long first stint before pitting on lap 30 and moving onto the option tire.

Emerging back on track in tenth place, Ricciardo managed to pass Marcus Ericsson on the final lap of the race which combined with Nico Rosberg’s retirement left him eighth at the checkered flag.

“It was a great result for the team considering where we started and the characteristics of this track,” Ricciardo said after the race. “It was sweet taking that eighth place on the last lap from Ericsson.

“I am very happy with the chassis, the car was handling really well, and we were able to fight with a Ferrari and a Mercedes-powered car on a track where we lost out a lot on the straights.

“It wasn’t an easy weekend for us, but I think the race was positive and the energy in the team is good. I will probably celebrate with one more pizza.”

Ricciardo was joined in the points by Red Bull teammate Daniil Kvyat, who also produced a fine fightback from 18th on the grid to finish tenth, but feels that the team

“Monza was always going to be a tough weekend for us,” Kvyat said. “Our race wasn’t too bad considering where we started on the track, because of our penalties.

“I didn’t see much action during the race but it was a positive result to finish in the points, down to good teamwork. We’ll have to come back stronger in Singapore, where the track characteristics should suit us better.”

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.”