Vettel: Ferrari fired up, hungry for success in new F1 season

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Sebastian Vettel says that the entire Ferrari team is fired up and hungry for success in the new Formula 1 season as it looks to end its title drought.

Ferrari last won a championship back in 2008, prompting marque president Sergio Marchionne to say earlier this month that it would be a “tragedy” if it went more than 10 years without a title.

Vettel is expected to spearhead Ferrari’s charge in 2016 after a successful maiden season with the team last year, and has high expectations for his second campaign at Maranello.

“We’ll try to raise [expectations] naturally,” Vettel said. “Obviously you don’t want to do worse than the year before, that’s clear.

“I think you can feel it going around in the factory. I think everybody is fired up and want to win. The target is clear, the expectation is there. But I think that’s also where we want to be. We’ll see how close we are and how much there is to do during the season.”

Vettel believes that the added cohesion of the team will be clear in 2016, with the new SF16-H car being the first to have been developed since the personnel overhaul at the end of 2014.

“I think last year was very good for us, very positive. Obviously the success we had early on helped to stabilize the team,” Vettel said.

“Nevertheless, it’s still a young team, a lot of new people. Now they’ve been in the job for one year, and I think it really starts only now that we see the results so obviously in this regard the new car this year is really the first for this team, and therefore I’m very excited to get on track and see how it feels.

“Obviously from the outside you see that the car looks lsihgly different. There’s a bit of a new car design going on which I like a lot, it looks very nice. My helmet suits the white topping on the car.

“And then I think more exciting is on the inside, a lot of new stuff, new things. It’s always fun to watch the process very closely over winter with the team, and then especially in the past few days when things start to come together.”

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.”