Haas poised to announce Gutierrez in Mexico

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Esteban Gutierrez is set to be confirmed as Haas F1 Team’s second driver for the 2016 Formula 1 season next Friday ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix.

NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas’ new F1 team will finally hit the grid in 2016 after two years of planning, with current Lotus driver Romain Grosjean set to lead its charge after being announced as its first driver at the end of last month.

Ex-Sauber driver Gutierrez has been the favorite for a seat at Haas for some time given his current reserve driver role with Ferrari – with whom Haas has a technical partnership – and backing from Mexican telecommunications giant Telmex.

Speaking to NBCSN’s Steve Matchett, Haas confirmed once again that the second seat would be given to a Ferrari reserve driver, narrowing the decision down to Gutierrez and colleague Jean-Eric Vergne.

“It’s no secret it will be one of the reserve drivers at Ferrari,” Haas said. “There’s a lot of negotiations going back and forth. We’ll wait until the ink is dry.”

However, speaking to Sky Sports, Haas suggested that the deal was done, saying that there would be an announcement in Mexico City on Friday ahead of Gutierrez’s home event.

“We’re going to make an announcement in Mexico City on Friday night,” Haas said.

“I think you can work that one out.”

Gutierrez spent two years racing in F1 with Sauber, scoring six points in total before joining Ferrari as its reserve driver for 2015.

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.”