Magnussen was told he had 2015 McLaren seat

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Kevin Magnussen has claimed that he was told by McLaren that he would be racing for the team in Formula 1 this year before it opted to give the seat to Jenson Button.

Magnussen finished second on his F1 debut at the 2014 Australian Grand Prix, but endured an otherwise-difficult first season with McLaren before being demoted to the role of reserve driver to make way for Fernando Alonso.

Magnussen was informed in October that his contract at McLaren would not be renewed, and has since tested Porsche’s LMP1 919 Hybrid and a Mercedes DTM car.

Speaking to Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet, Magnussen revealed that he had been given assurances over a seat at McLaren for 2015 alongside Alonso.

“I was told that it was my seat,” Magnussen said. “I cannot remember it exactly but, at the end of the season, I was told that I did not need to worry.

“Of course it was hard to learn that I did not get the seat, but I did not doubt that I would come back, so it was not as big a problem as one might have thought.

“But it was hard to begin with the launch, where I had just been told. Then you stand there as a test driver, while Jenson stands with Fernando. It took a while before it sank in and the reality dawned on me.”

Magnussen claimed that Button even had a special ‘goodbye’ helmet prepared for the final race of the 2014 and raced without pressure as he anticipated that it would be his last F1 start.

“Jenson had his two best races at the end,” Magnussen said. “He ran really well, but he had a helmet ready that said goodbye. He had thrown in the towel and just ran with his heart.

“He drove to have fun and enjoy the last two races as he believed 100 per cent that he was done in F1. He drove without stress or pressure.”

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.”