Brawn denies accepting sporting role in Formula 1

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Ross Brawn has denied accepting a sporting role with new Formula 1 owners Liberty Media, contrary to speculation.

Brawn enjoyed a lengthy stint in F1 that saw him win numerous championships with Benetton, Ferrari and his own team, Brawn GP, before quitting a role at Mercedes at the end of 2013.

Brawn said last week that he would be interested in taking a role in helping manage F1, which was followed by speculation that he had agreed a deal with Liberty to become the series’ new sporting chief.

However, Brawn has now denied taking the role, although he did confirm contact with Liberty in a consultancy capacity.

“Liberty have not got far enough down the road to make any commitments yet,” Brawn told BBC Sport.

“I’m doing a little consulting to help them better understand F1, but that’s all.”

Liberty has already appointed American businessman Chase Carey as F1’s new chairman, while Bernie Ecclestone will continue in the role of CEO for at least three years.

Ecclestone heads up F1’s commercial interests, as well as holding six votes on the F1 Strategy Group. F1’s governing body, the FIA, holds another six, with six of the series’ most senior teams holding one vote apiece.

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.”