McLaren Formula 1 driver Lando Norris says Simon Pagenaud was “a bit salty” for not wanting him to win a virtual IndyCar race after the pair clashed in the event.

Making his second race outing in IndyCar’s iRacing Challenge after winning on his debut at the Circuit of the Americas, Norris was leading once again with two laps to go during a crash-strewn race at the Brickyard when he hit a slow-moving Pagenaud.

Reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Pagenaud was heard saying "we take Lando out, let's do it" on his live-stream just moments before the collision between the pair.

Just before the pair clashed, Pagenaud added: “Oh, I was pitting, I didn’t mean to…”

Norris had inadvertently caused Graham Rahal to make contact with Pagenaud a few laps earlier as he overtook Rahal for the lead of the race.

Norris revealed that Pagenaud had apologised to him for the incident but the Briton felt his rival simply did not want a non-IndyCar driver to win the event.

“He apologised,” Norris explained.

“He said he wanted to come into the pits and he wanted to slow me up, and he wanted Askew to win, he didn’t want me to win.

“So he tried slowing me up a little bit and was going to come into the pits. Had no intention of taking me out. Just wanted to slow me down…by letting off in the middle of the corner and braking right in front of me. So yeah.

“Do you know how many hours, how much time I put into the left [turn]? How many hours I’ve spent driving in a straight line and then just doing this.

“I must have spent a day in total, I reckon I’ve spent 24 hours flicking driving in a straight line and turning left, trying to perfect it. With the most delicate touch, I’ve tried doing it one-handed, with my knee. 24 Hours!

“And then because that guy gets a bit salty that a non-IndyCar driver is about to win an Indy race. It just ruins it. So, yeah, that’s that.”

Speaking on his Twitch stream, Norris continued: “I feel so bad for the guys as well.

“Maybe some people aren’t taking it as seriously and they just think it’s a game and it doesn’t matter.

“But there’s still a lot of other drivers, I had Jarv, the engineers and the guys doing strategy. We still put time into it, whether or not we’re at home doing nothing, they’re still working on it and they could be doing other things with their families let’s say.

“They’re still wanting to take part and win a race still. Then some guys just get all selfish, don’t care about any of it.”

Two-time Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin ultimately claimed victory at the virtual Indianapolis Motor Speedway after the late chaos had resulted in a number of front-runners crashing out.

 

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