An incident involving Simon Pagenaud and Lando Norris during Saturday’s IndyCar iRacing Challenge overshadowed the race at a virtual Indianapolis and stirred debate in the motorsport community.

Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Pagenaud appeared to deliberately slow leaving race-leader Norris nowhere to go as the McLaren driver hit the back of Pagenaud.

Just before the clash, Pagenaud said: “Oh, I was pitting, I didn’t mean to…”

It came a few laps after Pagenaud had been inadvertently hit by Graham Rahal as Norris overtook the latter to move into the lead at the virtual Brickyard.

Norris revealed Pagenaud had apologised to him for the incident but claimed the Frenchman was “salty” for not wanting a non-IndyCar driver to win the event.

But footage from Pagenaud’s live stream which emerged after the race had finished changed the complexion of the collision and left fans and the wider motorsport community calling into question Pagenaud’s sportsmanship - or perhaps lack of it.

“We take Lando out, let’s do it,” were the words uttered by Pagenaud which stirred great debate and split opinion about the ethics of the move.

Debating the incident with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen having witnessed Pagenaud’s stream for the first time, Norris said: “Even his spotter says ‘let’s friction do this’. Yeah, bold strategy mate.

“This is amazing. I even said it before, ‘Pagenaud’s about to take me out’, and my spotter was like, yeah we’ll see about that. Two seconds later, I’m flipping around.”

Analysing the clash further, Norris adds: “Ah he’s lifting. He’s such a liar (laughter).

“He’s such a class act. Even his spotter is laughing away.”

Verstappen echoed Norris’ verdict and described the incident as the “the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen.”

In a tweet, McLaren team boss Zak Brown said the behaviour was “not what you expect from a champion.”

Watch the video below and make up your own mind about the incident. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Comments

Loading Comments...