Magnussen: Points possible for Renault in Bahrain

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Kevin Magnussen is hopeful that Renault can score its first points of the season in this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix after an encouraging display in Australia two weeks ago.

Renault made its return to Formula 1 as a constructor in Melbourne on March 20, and narrowly missed out on points as Jolyon Palmer finished 11th ahead of Magnussen in P12.

Despite having a rushed winter due to the late nature of Renault’s takeover of Lotus, the team impressed many in Australia and may well have scored points had it not been for an early puncture for Magnussen.

Looking ahead to this weekend’s race in Bahrain, Magnussen said that he believes points are within Renault’s reach.

“Looking forward to getting back in the car,” Magnussen said. “Pretty good weekend in Melbourne where even though I didn’t have a perfect race weekend personally, we got a good result in terms of where we thought we were.

“It showed we have a good car, and we can actually fight for points, so hopefully this race we can go for points.

“It was pretty clear in Melbourne that we can get points if we get it right. That should be the aim for this weekend, getting points.”

After missing the 2015 season while working as McLaren’s reserve driver, Magnussen is looking forward to racing under the lights in Bahrain for the first time since 2014.

“It’s quite a different race because it’s a night race. You start in semi-dark and then it goes full dark under artificial light,” Magnussen said.

“It’s a cool race because I think the cars look cool in that light. It’s just nice to see something different.

“Usually it’s quite hot but this weekend I think it’s going to be less hot. It’s a track that is quite hard on the rear tires because there’s a lot of corners where you have a long exit of the corner and you’re really working your rear tires hard.”

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.”