Nasr, Sauber hope to end scoring drought dating to Austin last year

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It’s been an especially rough sophomore season in Formula One for Felipe Nasr.

In the first 17 races of the 2016 season, the 24-year-old Sauber driver has finished no higher than 12th (Baku, Azerbaijan).

Nasr scored on five occasions last year which ranked him 13th in the points, but being one of five drivers yet to score this year (Sauber teammate Marcus Ericsson, Haas’ Esteban Gutierrez and Manor’s Rio Haryanto and Esteban Ocon) leaves him just 22nd this year out of 24 drivers that have raced a Grand Prix this year.

Coming to Austin this weekend provides Nasr a shot – albeit a long one – at ending a year-long scoring drought since last year’s United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas.

It was at last year’s USGP that Nasr last scored points for finishing ninth – his best showing in an F1 race since.

“Finishing in P9 was a nice achievement, bearing in mind that it was the 400th GP for Sauber,” Nasr said in the team’s advance release. “Thinking about this year, I am very much looking forward to racing on this great track again.”

Nasr has four failures to finish this season and in the 13 races he has completed, has ended between 12th and 19th. He started and finished 19th last race at Suzuka, Japan, two weeks ago.

“I will do the best I can for us to achieve a similar result to last year, as scoring points is obviously our objective,” Nasr said.

“I am confident that we are keeping working to improve the Sauber C35-Ferrari, in order to make further steps to be more competitive.”

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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.”