Jenson Button calls for ‘big change’ so F1 can be mind-blowing

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Jenson Button believes that Formula 1 requires a “big change” in the near future to make the cars much quicker to drive and exciting for fans to watch.

Since making his debut in 2000, Button has driven through many different eras of F1, ranging from powerful V10-engined cars to the current turbo V6 formula.

Lap times have dropped considerably over the past 10 years, leading to a push from many within the series to make the cars quicker again by changing the regulations for the 2017 season.

Button believes that F1 cars should be by far the quickest in motorsport, and that making this change will solve many of the issues facing the sport at the moment.

“We need to see a big change in the sport. I think the cars need to be quite a lot quicker,” Button told NBC Sports.

“I remember in 2005, I was amazed how excited I was to watch a Formula 1 car go around the circuit, and the grip level – I mean it was just beyond anything. We were 10 seconds quicker than anything around a grand prix circuit, and it’s the way it should be.

“It should be out of this world fast, it should be light years above anything else. Not two seconds quicker than a GP2 car. That’s what we’ve got to get back to, and I think everyone understands that.

“It’s just everyone signing on the dotted line to actually move things forward and to make progress, because it is progress if we find ourselves five seconds quicker next year.

“You’ll have happy drivers, the adrenaline will be pumping, interviews will be great – it helps everyone, and the fans love that, seeing happy drivers. It’s what we need.”

Button also spoke about the sound of F1 – a hot topic in recent years – and said that he thinks the engines should be far louder than they are now in a bid to capture the next generation of fans.

“I also think we need louder Formula 1 cars, but that’s not going to happen for next year, which is a shame,” Button said.

“I think this year’s change hasn’t really done much for the other teams. For us, our car’s a lot louder than the other teams for some reason which is great, because it’s what the sport needs.

“It should be beyond kids’ wildest dreams. When they see a Formula 1 car it should blow their mind, and I don’t think it does at the moment.

“The sound should be there, we should be revving to 20,000 rpm. I know that we should always be moving on in terms of technology, but I’m sure there’s a way of still using the technology of a V10 engine and using it in road cars.

“I’m not sure what the engine manufacturers will think about me saying that, but that’s the dream. That was the dream as a kid, and that’s still the dream to have that feeling underneath you as a driver.”

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.”