McLaughlin wins as Ferrucci and Pagenaud trigger controversial crashes


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A crazy end to the IndyCar iRacing Challenge at Indianapolis saw Scott McLaughlin snatch the win on the line after Santino Ferrucci crashed into leader Oliver Askew.

“That’s my bad and I’m sorry for doing that to Oliver because that was definitely his race there,” said Ferrucci. “But also at the end of the day it’s a video game and I think we all had fun and coming to the line, it’s the kind of thing you’d never do in real life.”

Ferrucci and Askew had taken over the lead after Askew’s McLaren SP team mate Pato O’Ward collided with Marcus Ericsson while making a risky bid to pass his rival at the final turn. O’Ward later apologised to his rival on social media.

The pair had inherited the lead on the previous lap after Lando Norris ran into the back of the lapped Simon Pagenaud. Norris spoke to Pagenaud following the race and said his rival admitted he tried to slow Norris down but didn’t want to take him out.

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

It made for a dramatic conclusion to a race which had begun cleanly. Only one caution occured over the opening 50 laps. The first caution period was triggered on lap five when Alex Palou clattered the pit wall, then was hit from behind by Tony Kanaan and Jack Harvey at turn one.

When the race restarted Scott Speed took over the lead, holding a dogfighting Graham Rahal, Will Power and Lando Norris at bay, and Sage Karam lurking in fifth. But on lap 13 Speed ran wide after Power dived to his inside. Rahal also slipped back, leaving Power and Norris to dispute the lead.

The pair pitted together on lap 33, Norris losing five seconds while “mandatory repairs” were made to his car. However he lucked in during a later caution period as he had already pitted for fresh tyres, which allowed him to pass Pagenaud for the lead.

The Penske driver hit the wall, which put Norris temporarily in the lead of a McLaren one-two-three with Askew and O’Ward. That changed when Norris came around to lap Pagenaud.

The final-lap drama saw pole sitter McLaughlin snatch the win while Conor Daly snatched second as Ferrucci and Askew crashed across the line behind him. O’Ward recovered for figth ahead of Sebastien Bourdais ,Ryan Hunter-Reay, Zach Veach, Felix Rosenqvist and Scott Dixon.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 36 comments on “McLaughlin wins as Ferrucci and Pagenaud trigger controversial crashes”

    1. Miltiadis (@miltosgreekfan)
      2nd May 2020, 21:25

      Seriously, this whole ending was a farce and showed a lot…

      Simon Pagenaud admitted that he didn’t want an F1 driver to win a virtual race and Santino Ferrucci decided to turn left on his opponent and crash him, just to have a slight chance of winning it.

      I thought these guys, as racers, would respect some basic stuff and wouldn’t act like a bunch of 15 year old guys, who have online rage….

      1. (@miltosgreekfan what can you expect from Santino Ferrucci?? And his apology is even worse. “It’s just a game”. Yeah, but you still want to win and race fairly…

        I hope they ban him from iracing at least!

        1. Miltiadis (@miltosgreekfan)
          2nd May 2020, 21:42

          @fer-no65 Youaare correct, this is exactly what you expect from him… He deserves a ban, but I doubt it will happen.

          1. It won’t happen because he didn’t rage quit & saying some racial slurs.. (I’m just being sarcastic)

            I afraid Santino would doing that again when we’re back to real racing..

          2. @miltosgreekfan unfortunately, iRacing has been criticised for being rather lenient with some drivers, with Scott Speed being one notorious example.

            As mentioned on this site before, there have been known instances of Scott Speed deliberately trying to take other drivers out during iRacing events. He was hit with a temporary ban for his behaviour, but it seems that iRacing quietly reinstated his account about two months later.

            Even that was, in reality, only because there were enough complaints after one of Scott’s more blatant and ill judged attempts went viral and generated bad publicity for iRacing – there was at least one other known incident before where there were complaints that, because it wasn’t so high profile, iRacing ignored the complaints of deliberate wrecking.

      2. Someone has made a little video clip of Pagenaud exiting the pits and him and his ‘engineer’ saying ‘lets take Lando out, lets do it’.

        What a farce.

        1. Miltiadis (@miltosgreekfan)
          2nd May 2020, 21:48

          Τhis is the worst part tbh… Pagenaud is 36 years old and an indy champ and he just could stay out of the way, even if he thought that Norris did something on purpose at the start or something….

          If you decide to participate in a proper sim race, like this one, behave in that matter as well and don’t act like a kid…

          1. Interesting tactics!

          2. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
            2nd May 2020, 23:34

            Here is Lando and Verstappen reacting to the Pagenaud clip

    2. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      2nd May 2020, 21:54

      Yeah a bad ending to an otherwise very good e series. Santino Ferrucci is such a douche

    3. Anyone who believes Ferrucci is not still the same immature so-and-so he was in Europe, I refer this race to you. A leopard doesn’t change his spots, and someone who wrecks a teammate after a race doesn’t become a clean racer.

      I hope he gets some real world consequences for this, but I don’t expect it. He seems to have an unlimited Get Out Of Jail Free card already.

    4. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      2nd May 2020, 22:02 Here’s Pagenaud’s conversation with his engineer and going after Lando.
      I wonder the the Captain would make of this kind of behaviour

      1. He probably won’t have the spine to call him immature and a cheat …

    5. Shame it ended like that. Was a good race previously and the series as a whole had been quite clean. Hopefully iracing and indycar will have a word with the instigators. It might only be a game but it’s an expensive game that wants to be taken seriously and I doubt they want to promote that sort of driving on their platform.

      1. Without the real racing happening, that sim race was picked up by major TV networks around the world.

        That level of sportsmanship and immaturity just reflects badly on Menards, Penske and Indycar … and it makes a farce of all the effort by many people who worked to put on some entertainment for the fans during these unusual times.

        It also shows no respect for any of the fans around the world who tuned in to watch a race on TV, whether or not it was virtual or real.

        1. Yeah I agree, that’s why I hope pagenaud and ferrucci at least get a talking to.

          My girlfriend, who has no interest in gaming or motorsport, actually bothered watching this race and like most casual viewers will have come away with the impression that iracing is just full of wreckers like every casual racing game and that indycar is just a bunch of amateurs who can’t race clean.

    6. This was the first esport race that I was really engaged in – I thought I’ll only tune in for the start and see if they are able to avoid carnage at the start, but then I could barely take my eyes off, it was as good as the real thing -, so it was really disappointing to see it end this way. Someone told me on Twitter that I should blame the McLaren team for the way the three guys defended, but I actually thought that was really well executed driving (especially online) from such young drivers covering the top 3.

      But afterwards seeing the video of Pagenaud’s stream… That is appalling and seems so out of character. I see that O’Ward says that he expected Ericsson to give space in the final corner, but I think that door was already shut and he should have backed out. And then Ferrucci punting Askew on the line… Somehow I immediately felt that is what he’ll try so I wasn’t shocked but it’s still infuriating.

      I knew I shouldn’t have invested emotionally in the race because I’d just get disappointed, but it felt so good until the end. Shame shame shame.

    7. Jaime Colinas
      2nd May 2020, 23:26

      For me, IndyCar iRacing series was the best one by far, kudos to them, and it really made me interested in following the series when it resumed in real like.

      This did it for me, though. The lack of professionalism, especially when dealing with a visitor, and their tolerance (or, worse support) for Ferrucci, a racist and a dirty driver… It’s bellow any civilized standard.

      (In tune, unfortunately, with what the country has been showing us in many other facets of a decaying society.)

    8. So.. managed to get me to watch one.. aaaand the last one at the same time.

    9. I’m glad I didn’t remember to invest any time watching this if that was the result. It sounded like the Indy iRacing had a good chance of being a serious but exciting event, everything the F1 races aren’t. But antics like these turn it into the same sort of irrelevance as F1. Why would I get entertainment from real racers acting as immaturely as teenagers online in an event where standards and quality are supposed to be high? If the point is to watch them goofing around, record them playing mariocart. If the point is to replicate a real race, reprimand those demeaning it.

    10. Dumb. Simply dumb from Pagenaud. Reflects badly on him and on Penske.
      The Captain needs to have a word.

      1. I hope Pagenaud will lose sponsors and his seat. Virtual or not, this is how you should act. This shows what you could do inreal life. How can others trust someone like him inthe future when going 400kph? Won’t even mention Ferrucci. How is he still driving?

    11. Motorsport fans have really, really long memories when it comes to this. Pulling an immature stunt like that was utterly stupid when the iRacing series had global viewership. It was being shown on YouTube and the F1 channel on Sky.

      A real loss for Indy there, especially as the standard of racing has been really high compared to the F1 equivalent.

      Pagenaud will be reminded of this for years to come. If it were F1 he’d be booed!

    12. Really disappointed in Pagenaud in particular. He undid a lot of good work, time and effort put in to this series to present it in such a professional manner up to that point.

      Then the whole series ends in intentional wrecking and ‘it’s just a game’.

      Nope Simon, it’s being a sore loser.

    13. Total nonpology from Ferrucci expect “shouldn’t have been there” and “He deserved it” next .

      The guy has consistently shown he’s a spoiled dangerous brat.
      Ive watched F1 for 30 plus years now and attended a various since spa in 95 only caught the last half of the stream and thought it was fantastic up until the last couple of laps then it descended into toddler fest.

    14. That’s disgusting and something I’d never expect from professional drivers. Basically revealed themselves as cheats.

      I hope iRacing will give them a ban, but I’ve seen first-hand that iRacing have very different standards for the gentry and the unwashed.

    15. What a sore loser. Time to take the American drivers seriously, right? Pagenaud even couldn’t take a virtual beating, let’s wonder why him and the like stay beyond the pond.

      1. pastaman (@)
        3rd May 2020, 21:27

        Uhhh, he’s French

    16. There is only one way to respond to this. #banPagenaud. Just another sore loser from France, just like Ocon (Brasil GP), trying to fool people with his fake apology. Dirty unsporting weasels.

    17. Jose Lopes da Silva
      3rd May 2020, 14:26

      I see.
      I’ll continue to play instead of watch other people playing.

    18. This was screened, as has been all the other Indycar iRacing events, on Sky Sport in NZ. Until this race, a great series, and so realistic. But Ferrucci (thrown out of European racing, surely now needs to get the same in the US?), and particularly Pagenaud need to be suspended from any further iRacing games? O’Ward need a stern warning too.
      So disappointing, even though Kiwi McLaughlin won. I think even he would say it wasn’t a fair result……

    19. As a sim racer and motorsports fan in general, these “professional” drivers are starting to strike my nerves.

      I get it that they’re having fun and putting on a show. But that should be what they’re doing in the real cars too. Any of us guys who are sim racers can only imagine the thrill of being able to get behind the wheel of the cars these drive to earn their paychecks.

      As such, if we came onto a real world race track and behaved the way they do, I’m sure these “pros” would far less than appreciate it. Obviously the consequences are more severe, but there has to be a certain level of respect for anything that presents itself as pure motorsport. Whether it’s in the real world, or the virtual world. I’ve lost a great deal of respect for quite a few drivers over the past month.

    20. I expected better of Simon and he really disappointed me – especially with how he claimed he didn’t do it on purpose afterwards when he should have known the evidence was likely to be all over the internet. I wish I could say that about Santino but disappointment requires going below expectations… Won’t comment on the O’Ward/Ericsson incident because I have not seen enough of it to feel confident about analysing it – at least that mishap appears to have been accidental, though.

      Unfortunately, I’ve seen virtual lawnmower racing with more credibility than the ending to the Indycar race. The league organisers need to do some serious thinking before the next event.

    21. Glad I didn’t watch it live.

    Comments are closed.