Kvyat encouraged by Red Bull pace as podium drought ends in China

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Daniil Kvyat felt pleased to have ended his Formula 1 podium drought stretching back to last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix as Red Bull took the fight to Ferrari in China on Sunday.

Kvyat scored his breakthrough podium at the Hungaroring last summer, but has since failed to finish in the top three, prompting questions about his future with Red Bull in light of Toro Rosso youngster Max Verstappen’s impressive start to life in F1.

Kvyat proved his worth in China on Sunday though, making a bold start much to the chagrin of Sebastian Vettel to move up to third before running in second place for much of the race.

Although he ultimately lost out to Vettel in the final stint of the race, Kvyat was pleased with his performance en route to third at the flag.

“It feels excellent to finish on the podium,” Kvyat said. “After Hungary it felt like quite a long time. You always want to see the result and today it confirmed itself.

“The start, corner one, corner two was a bit risky but in the end we can talk about it forever – but it paid off and I’m on the podium. It feels good.

“The race itself I would say was quite controlled. I think our main competitor throughout the whole race was Sebastian. I think he made an excellent recovery.

“We probably missed out a little bit not having the soft tire for the last stint. On the medium we couldn’t really resist for too long to him. He overtook us.

“But all in all it was a very encouraging weekend. We are consistently [the] third fastest team on the track, and I think with a bit of development in the future we can give a fight to these guys a bit more.

“So it’s all looking promising for the future.”

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.”