Norris on ‘selfish’ crash: It’s not just a game
Get Sky F1 Lando Norris says Indy iRace crash with Simon Pagenaud was ‘selfish’ Norris was denied an iRacing victory when Pagenaud slowed down to take him out; he calls crash ‘selfish’ and says eSports is serious By Matt Morlidge Last Updated: 05/05/20 1:44pm 0:11 Watch the moment that caused big controversy in IndyCar’s iRacing Challenge at virtual Indianapolis as Simon Pagenaud collided with race leader Lando Norris Watch the moment that caused big controversy in IndyCar’s iRacing Challenge at virtual Indianapolis as Simon Pagenaud collided with race leader Lando Norris Lando Norris insists online racing is now “more than just a game” and has described Simon Pagenaud’s actions – when the reigning Indy500 champion crashed into him to deny an eSports victory – as “selfish”.
McLaren star Norris has been taking part in both Formula 1 and IndyCar’s virtual racing series in recent weeks and was on course to take a second straight victory in the latter’s iRacing Challenge before Pagenaud intentionally slowed down to take the Brit out of the Indianapolis race.
The incident became something of an internet storm – with McLaren boss Zak Brown tweeting that it was “not what you expect from a champion” – and Norris has also criticised Pagenaud.Albon beats Leclerc to epic Virtual GP win
“I know it’s virtual and people class it as a game, but it’s become quite a bit more than that over the last few weeks,” Norris told ESPN .
“You still expect people to act professionally, drivers who have experience.Although it’s virtual and that’s what everyone uses as an excuse, it was still taken seriously by pretty much everyone else.
“We put a lot of time into it, me, my engineers and the whole team, so for someone to be so selfish, not care about anyone else and do what he wants because he got annoyed at me for some reason, was disappointing.
“I guess you just have to kind of move on.In some ways we’re lucky it wasn’t real.There could have been real consequences.
“In a few weeks, maybe eSports will get to a level where there are consequences.You can’t take people too seriously when they’re in a world where they are vulnerable of getting beaten.”
Another McLaren driver was taken out later in the iRace, with Norris’ team-mate Oliver Askew barged into the wall by former Haas test driver Santino Ferrucci, who was caught on camera laughing about the incident.
Norris says eSports should now be taken more seriously given how much it has grown in the absence of ‘real’ track racing.
“The big conversation is, yes it’s a game, and therefore you shouldn’t care about it, and so on…but at the same time eSports has really got to a point over the last few months where it’s become more serious,” he added.
“Not only because it’s on TV, but personally for different drivers, for different teams and sponsors, there’s companies and teams and so on that still need this advertising.
It’s on TV in America with thousands and thousands of people watching.Also See: The Formula 1 Gossip Column
“It’s more than just a game now when it’s at this sort of level.”
Norris is expected to take part in F1’s next Virtual GP, which is taking place around Spain’s Circuit de Catalunya and will be live on Sky Sports F1 on Sunday evening.Watch the full IndyCar iRace around Indanapolis Trending.