Norris: Pagenaud wrong to blame me for crash caused by iRacing “netcode”


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Lando Norris has revealed a netcode error contributed to the crash which put Simon Pagenaud out of last weekend’s IndyCar iRacing Challenge race, which prompted a retaliation from his rival.

Pagenaud crashed out on the 62 lap of the race after running wide to avoid tangling with Graham Rahal, who Norris was overtaking on the inside of turn one. The Penske driver then returned to the track following repairs and slowed in front of Norris, taking him out of the lead of the race.

Norris told NBC he “completely sticks with my decision of making that move” on Rahal and Pagenaud, which the latter’s race engineer criticised.

“It was such an easy manoeuvre to complete,” said Norris. “I had such an easy run out of turn one, they both washed a bit wide out of one. I didn’t have to force my way through, it was very easy. I gave them plenty of space out of one and into two.

“I really would have to brake, effectively, and lift a lot to maintain third position at that time. And they were on much older tyres, I was on fresh tyres. So it wasn’t like I was being overly aggressive or forcing my way through. I just kept it flat out and they both washed wide and I just happened to be on the inside very easily.”

Norris was set to win when Pagenaud caused a collision
Not attempting to pass when he did would have cost him a position, Norris added. “If I braked [Oliver] Askew would have overtaken me on the next straight because he had a bit of a gap behind me. So he would have had the momentum, he would have come past me, pretty much a guarantee.”

Norris believes Pagenaud crashed because of a netcode error. This refers to the technology used in online games to smooth out any gaps in the exchange of data between participants by predicting how a player is behaving – or driving – when lag occurs.

“The crash itself, how Pagenaud ended up being out of the race, was not my fault,” said Norris. “It was – and again, I hate to put it down to this – it was the fact that I’m in the UK, they’re in America and the internet [connection] between the UK and America is not lightning.

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“There was a netcode basically between me and Rahal and that was the reason for Rahal going up into Pagenaud.

Scott McLaughlin won after Santino Ferrucci hit Oliver Askew
“But in the instance of the crash, Pagenaud he blamed it on me straightaway. He had no idea that anything happened between me and Rahal that caused Rahal to go right, which was the netcode. And he blamed it on me straight away. I don’t know why he did that. But he wanted to blame someone, he blamed me for some reason.”

Norris, a long-time iRacing enthusiast, acknowledged he’s violated the game’s rules in the past. “I’ve done stupid things and I’ve been banned several times for doing stupid things or retaliating to people that have wiped me out or intentionally taken me out,” he said. “I get annoyed at doing that. I admit that I’ve made mistakes on it and I shouldn’t have done what I’ve done.”

However he said his crash in Wednesday’s Australian Supercars iRacing series, which blocked the pit lane entrance, “was nowhere near on the same level as the IndyCar stuff.”

Following Saturday’s IndyCar race Norris got in touch with Rahal. “We’re on much more even terms now of our perspectives of what happens,” he said.

He also discussed the collision with Pagenaud immediately after the event, but later discovered footage of his rival declaring he would “take Lando out” on RaceFans’ Twitter feed.

“I was even more annoyed after watching the onboard from him and his stream,” said Norris, “because of how he acted and what he said and so on. I don’t get too much into it but I think the fact he just went out of his way to do what he did was a disappointing thing. And from a driver I respect a lot and I’ve watched over the past few years in IndyCar, [that] was just a bit disappointing to see.”

“I’ve done my part and I think it’s more up to him to maybe apologise for what he did or something instead of me going to him for it,” Norris added. “I tried doing what I can to make it a less awkward situation between us. I’ve done what I can but I don’t think he’s done a lot in terms of trying to make things better, let’s say, between me and him and then also between what he did and in front of thousands of people.”

Video: Norris-Pagenaud IndyCar controversy

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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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    19 comments on “Norris: Pagenaud wrong to blame me for crash caused by iRacing “netcode””

    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      8th May 2020, 10:13

      Although he’s in the right in the Indycar debacle, Lando let himself down with his crazy Supercars pit entry incident.
      Driving 50m the wrong way up the run down to Eau Rouge and trying to force his way into the pits at a 90 degree angle puts him in the “it’s just a game” camp, and diminishes his ability to take the high road against Pagenaud.
      Do that in real life and you would be disqualified before you could say Stoffel Vandoorne. Craig Baird should have shown him the black flag there and then.

      1. David Beverley
        10th May 2020, 17:55

        To be fair, the driver he hit to get into the pits was the driver that stupidly took him out in the first place, causing Norris to need to get into the pits. I’m not saying Norris was ‘in the right’ but he’s the one that got taken out in the first place

    2. It’s getting stupid now. Even more reason not to waste my time watching kids games.

      1. Gunilla Runström
        8th May 2020, 10:43

        All sports are just for fun, you know that? :) And they can all be ridiculed by boring people that don’t enjoy that specific sport.

        Football game (grown men chasing a ball)
        Motorsport (look at me, vroom vroom)

      2. William Jones
        8th May 2020, 11:00

        Or maybe, even more reasons to not waste time watching kids play adult games.

        1. 5uck M4 D1ck
          9th May 2020, 1:24

          It’s a form of entertainment during the current pandemic. iRacing isn’t a kids game it’s a game that’s based off of real life but with random people from all over the world joining. And you can’t exactly call adults ‘kids’ William. Both of you grow up and stop being childish and saying that watching it is a waste of time when it’s not

      3. Okay Boomer.

    3. “I really would have to break, effectively, and lift a lot to maintain third position at that time.”

      Even @keithcollantine has fallen foul of the infamous brake/break confusion.

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        8th May 2020, 13:50

        I tyre of this pedantry

        1. It is a game, but who you are doesn’t change. What’s clear is Pagenaud’s reckless arrogance is dangerous whenever he is behind the wheel!

        2. Well played.

    4. Even as someone who is a fan of ‘e-racing’ before the lockdown after watching a number of Gran Turismo World Tour events. And playing similar games for the past 20 years I must say the limitations and carefree nature of sim racing has over stayed it’s welcome now.

      I thought the Indycar one was one of the best and even that has descended into a farce.

      I watched the 1982 Monaco Grand Prix on the F1 YouTube channel and I must say I far preferred that even though I knew the result at the start. Probably time to stick with classic races from now on until we start seeing real racing returning.

    5. Passing a single car in the short chutes at The Speedway has long been seen as a low percentage maneuver and would get a rookie a stern warning from the Chief Steward. Going 3 wide into turns 2 or 4 is such a hairball maneuver that it’s unheard-of in recent history. It’s good that this happened in iRacing. It shows that Lando isn’t ready for The Speedway yet.

      1. You’re totally correct and I agree.

        Passing a single car in the short chutes would get a rookie a stern warning from the Chief Steward.

        So apart from Lando not “being ready for the speedway”. Both Simon Pagenaud and Graham Rahal should be ashamed of themselves for passing in a short chute that even rookie would get a stern warning from. They should just quit the Indycar altogether. And I’m not even talking about the revenge that would get both of them seriously hurt.

    6. I saw the supercars thing, when the coverage caught up to it norris was driving the wrong way and ramming a car into the pits blocking it. On youtube’s chat there was revenge on norris. On lando’s stream you can see him get spun round. Certainly you wouldn’t do that on an actual race and he did ruin some races with that incident but I think he behaved well with the supercars field.

    7. Please stop covering grown ass men complaining about pings on a stupid online game nobody takes seriously. (Not even those being paid to play them).

      What a joke…..

    8. Neil Saunders
      9th May 2020, 18:29

      It’s this sort of nonsense that gives iracing a bad name, people blaming everyone else for the stupid actions, of nothing more than internet glitch.
      I’ve found on I racing everyone is is a victim of this, you just have to suck it up and get on with it

    9. Six months later and this will still be talked about.

    Comments are closed.