Haas held talks with Mercedes over technical partnership

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Günther Steiner has revealed that Haas F1 Team held talks with Mercedes over a possible technical partnership for the 2016 Formula 1 season before signing an agreement with Ferrari.

NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas will bring his new F1 operation onto the grid in 2016 after winning the FIA’s tender back in 2014. It will be the first American team to race in F1 since the unrelated Haas Lola project in the 1980s.

As part of its entry, Haas has opted to enter a technical partnership with Ferrari that will see it resemble something close to a customer team that existed in F1 in the mid-2000s.

Haas will benefit from a Ferrari power unit and other technologies, giving it a leg up for its debut season that many new teams have not enjoyed in the past.

However, team principal Steiner explained to the official F1 website that he does not think this will detract from Haas’ own identity.

“It is a bit like road car manufacturers: they all work together and many use the same platform, but everybody keeps their own identity,” Steiner said. “Times have changed: now nobody cares where you get your steering racks from or your brake pedals.

“But then I also agree that plain customer cars could be dangerous because you might end up with too many of the same cars, because everybody, of course, wants the best car. But if you do your aero development yourself it is a good compromise at the moment.”

Steiner revealed in the interview that Haas had spoken with Mercedes about a technical partnership, but felt that Ferrari offered the best package for 2016.

“Mercedes was an option,” Steiner said. “We spoke with them as well, but Ferrari came out as the better option – so we go with Ferrari.

“We know that nothing is forever, but right now we hope that it is forever.”

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.”