Horner: Red Bull exceeded all expectations in first half of season

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Red Bull Formula 1 chief Christian Horner says the team surpassed all expectations during the first half of the 2016 season, ranking second in the constructors’ championship during the summer break.

After a difficult 2015 campaign that saw its efforts blighted by issues with the Renault power unit, Red Bull entered 2016 hopeful of recovering some of the ground lost on teams such as Mercedes, Ferrari and Williams.

Significant progress was made by Renault in the engine department over the winter which, combined with the strength of the RB12 chassis, has allowed Red Bull to return to the top step of the podium via Max Verstappen in Spain.

A double podium finish in Germany last weekend lifted Red Bull above Ferrari to second place in the constructors’ championship, beating any expectations Horner had heading into the season.

“To finish up second and third on the podium at Hockenheim, to have outscored Ferrari and go into the summer break with a 14 point advantage over them in the constructors’ championship is a great end to a really strong first half of the year,” Horner said.

“Time for a well-earned break for all of the team, to recharge their batteries and come back for the final nine races, where there are circuits on the calendar that will hopefully suit us.

“We’ve exceeded all of our expectations in the first half of the season. I don’t think pre-season any of us could have imagined to have been second in the constructors’ championship after 11 rounds.”

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024
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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.”