Their objective was to become the best racing simulation on the market. In 4 years of rewriting code they didn't even bother to update their physics model to atleast include a brush model for the tires. Instead they kept a spreadsheet style model that seemed worse than NR2003 to release their sim with. And after now 7 years of development, they don't have something as essential as a transmission model.
People are actually fine with calling iRacing a "game", and sometimes just call it "entertainment software". That's the mentality of people you will be racing against in a so-called sim, so just be prepared and don't set your goals high at all.
And don't be stupid and open your wallet too soon.