Earlier today, Lando Norris and IndyCar driver Simon Pagenaud were involved in an incident during the eRace. During a three-wide moment, Pagenaud got taken out and wrongfully blamed Norris for the crash. He then proceeded to slow down and deliberately take out the McLaren F1 driver. To be honest, side-by-side moments are not at all uncommon, and there was a similar incident years ago. This involved former F1 champions Mario Andretti and James Hunt.
During the 1977 Dutch Grand Prix, Hunt stuck to his racing line while Mario Andretti tried to pass him. The American drove around the outside of Zandvoort’s infamous Tarzan hairpin. Unfortunately, the hairpin was not a prime overtaking spot, especially side-by-side moments. So, Andretti and Hunt collided and spun, with the former retiring and the latter continuing until his M26 gave up the ghost.
After the race, a furious James Hunt stormed up to Andretti and raged, “We don’t pass on the outside in F1.”
However, Andretti didn’t back down and stated, “I’ve got news for you. Where I come from, we pass whichever side we like.”
Andretti is the only driver to win a Formula One world championship and an IndyCar world championship. Given the nature of that racing series, going three or four abreast is fairly common. So, there is a hint of truth in Andretti’s statement of ‘passing on whichever side’.
Coming to the modern day, there was no love lost between Simon Pagenaud and Lando Norris in their incident. Admittedly, the hot-headed Frenchman should have checked the replays properly before acting as judge, jury and executioner. As it turned out, it was Graham Rahal who bumped Pagenaud. Luckily, Norris didn’t take it to heart because he knows that it is just a game, though he did vent afterwards. However, he didn’t take the ‘rivalry’ too seriously, though Pagenaud did.