A recent interview with the FIA’s director of innovative sports activities, Frederic Bertrand, has revealed that the relationship between the motorsport governing body and Gran Turismo has not ended, but is merely on a pause right now.
Bertrand was speaking at an event for the FIA Motorsport Games at the Formula One French Grand Prix at Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet. The circuit will play host to the delayed second staging of the FIA Motorsport Games this coming October.
Gran Turismo Sport was used as the basis of the Digital Cup at the original Games, but the second event will see the game switched out for Assetto Corsa Competizione. That follows the disappearance of FIA branding from the flagship Gran Turismo World Series — although the organization still appears with Gran Turismo 7‘s “Brand Central”.
Speaking to Jon Noble of Motorsport.comBertrand clarified that both situations are merely temporary, and the FIA is still working with Gran Turismo on projects that include the 2023 staging of the World Series.
Noble quotes Bertrand as stating that Polyphony Digital was “not necessarily ready to support the live event as we wanted”, and so the two parties mutually agreed to put things on hold for now. “At the moment it is difficult, but they have been super honest with us, telling us they need to concentrate on that one first,” said Bertrand.
The events would come pretty early in GT7‘s life. Gran Turismo Sport‘s first live events came seven and 11 months after the game launched, and both were as much a learning experience as an esports spectacle. It wasn’t until the regional finals and the 2018 World Final that the platform came into its own.
For Gran Turismo 7, the first live event is this weekend, with the World Series Showdown at the Red Bull Hangar-7 in Salzburg, Austria. That too will be a test of the new platform, and the FIA will be sending personnel to see how things go.
Bertrand commented “I will send my guys and if we feel it’s ready, we’ll move on again, and then we will probably have another project early first quarter of next year with Gran Turismo”. This might refer to the 2023 World Series, or another event entirely.
We’ve reached out to Sony Interactive Entertainment for any comment.