Ecclestone hopeful Ferrari will ‘get their act together’ for 2017

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Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone hopes that Ferrari will “get their act together” for the 2017 season after failing to mount a challenge for the championship this year.

Ferrari entered 2016 tipped to challenge Mercedes’ dominance and even topple the German marque from its perch at the top of the F1 pecking order.

However, Ferrari has endured a winless campaign so far that has also seen Red Bull overtake it in the constructors’ championship, as well as winning two races.

Speaking to the official F1 website, Ecclestone spoke about Ferrari’s fortunes in 2016, and said that he did not envy the challenge facing team principal Maurizio Arrivabene.

“All I hope is that Ferrari get their act together and start winning races,” Ecclestone said.

“What Maurizio desperately needs is a good back-up support like Mercedes have got, for example. If he had the support that Mercedes has, they would win races – for sure.

“I am also sure that you will see a different Ferrari next year.”

Ecclestone also said that Ferrari has gone back to being run like an “Italian team”, making things harder for four-time world champion and lead driver Sebastian Vettel, who hails from Germany, to build the operation around him.

“When I got Jean Todt to take his position and go to Maranello, which was a bit of a risk for Jean to do, it was an all-Italian team and they were a bit concerned about taking a foreigner,” Ecclestone said.

“But I told them: when you win the championship you sure will find ancestry in Jean’s family that comes from Sicily!

“Now it has gone back to being a very Italian team again. And it is run like an Italian team. So I don’t envy Maurizio’s job. I wouldn’t want to do it.”

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.”