Lando Norris and his McLaren Formula 1 team boss Zak Brown have reacted to the stream where reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Simon Pagenaud says “we take out Lando”, while Red Bull’s Max Verstappen also appeared to have his say.
Norris made a lunge down the inside of Turn 2 on Graham Rahal to take the lead in the IndyCar iRacing Challenge race at Indianapolis, and Rahal moved up the track in avoidance forcing a crash with Pagenaud.
Pagenaud then returned to the pits and said “we take out Lando, let’s do it”.
Norris came around Turn 4 with two laps to go in the lead only to find a slow-moving Pagenaud.
Just before Norris hit Pagenaud, the latter said: “Oh, I was pitting, I didn’t mean to do…I didn’t mean to crash him.”
Norris and Pagenaud spoke after the race, and afterward Norris claimed that Pagenaud hadn’t wanted him to win because he was “salty” and wanted an IndyCar regular to win.
At this point, Norris hadn’t seen Pagenaud’s stream where he said he was going to take Lando out after the race.
Norris then played another game with a lobby which included Max Verstappen following the IndyCar race, and watched Pagenaud’s stream shortly after.
“Even his spotter says ‘let’s frickin do this’. Yeah, bold strategy mate,” says Norris.
“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.”
The stream does not show the name of who is speaking, but Verstappen is audible conversing with Norris.
Verstappen appears to say: “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen.
He added: “That’s stupid, on Twitch to say that, like ‘OK let’s go and take him out’. I mean, if you do it, just don’t say it.”
Norris then picks up his analysis of the stream.
“Ah he’s lifting (crash happens, Pagenaud says he was pitting, Lando laughs).
“He’s such a liar (laughter).
“He’s such a class act. Even his spotter is laughing away.
(SP on the video, “I didn’t mean to crash him”). Lando replies: “Yeah you did mate, yeah you did.”
“What a loser.”
Zak Brown – Norris’s team boss – took to Twitter following the race to criticise Pagenaud and Santino Ferrucci, who crashed into leader Oliver Askew – an Arrow McLaren SP driver – on the run to the finish line.
On Ferrucci’s behaviour, Brown said “I’m not surprised”, and in reply to the Pagenaud stream he added: “Not what you expect from a champion.”
Scott McLaughlin was the eventual race winner after five drivers lead between Turn 3 and the finish on the last lap.