Kimi Raikkonen pleased with Ferrari progress, finishes P4 at Monza

© Getty Images

Kimi Raikkonen believes that fourth place was the most he could have achieved in Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix, but is happy with the progress that Ferrari made at Monza.

Ferrari entered its home weekend looking to cut the gap to Red Bull in the constructors’ championship after falling to third place in Germany at the end of July.

Armed with a power unit update, Raikkonen and teammate Sebastian Vettel locked out the second row of the grid before making a good start to pass Lewis Hamilton early on.

Vettel managed to finish third, giving the tens of thousands of Ferrari fans at Monza some joy, while Raikkonen followed home in P4.

“We tried to take it as much as we could but this was the maximum, the fastest we could do from start to finish. Not much else to say really,” Raikkonen told NBCSN after the race.

Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne said over the Monza weekend that the Italian marque had “failed” to meets its targets in 2016, having gone without a win since last year’s Singapore Grand Prix.

However, Raikkonen is confident that the team is moving in the right direction.

“I think we’ve been going in the right direction the last few weekends,” the Finn said.

“We’ll keep pushing and improving, but we have to improve in all areas.

“We have a lot of positives, let’s keep it moving.”

With P3 and P4, Ferrari cut the gap to Red Bull in the constructors’ standings down to 11 points ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.

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.”