Reigning IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden has called Santino Ferrucci’s behaviour “super embarrassing” during last Saturday’s iRacing Challenge finale at Indianapolis.
Two-time champion Newgarden was out of the running by the end of the race when chaos ensued and two big crashes took out multiple leading contenders.
On the last lap, Marcus Ericsson passed Patricio O’Ward for the lead at Turn 3, only for O’Ward to clip Ericsson’s left rear sending him into a spin at the last corner.
O’Ward’s team-mate Askew took over the lead, but then Ferrucci appeared to turn left and take out Askew just before the finish line. Ferrucci looked to have a run on Askew and still had time to attempt a pass as he drew alongside.
— Sage Karam (@SageKaram) May 2, 2020
Following the race, Ferrucci’s stream emerged where he laughed repeatedly after the crash. He later apologised for the incident.
“Have you watched these replays?,” Newgarden said to his team during his livestream of the race. “It is just bad, the whole thing. I just saw Santino. Oh my gosh, what was that?
“I think it’s a game as well, but this dude. Zero cares. Not very professional.
“I don’t know why he did that, that’s so bad. It is super embarrassing, what was he thinking?”
“Man, this whole thing, hilarious.
“I think everyone is going to be mad at him but Santino has been like this the whole time. It’s not something that you should be doing, no one should condone that.
“He intentionally wrecked someone on the front stretch coming to the finish. You can’t really call netcode [server issues] on that.”
The Race has contacted Ferrucci via his team Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan for right of reply.
A conversation between Askew and Ferrucci is audible through Newgarden’s stream. Askew says “Santino, I’m sorry, but that was BS”, to which Ferrucci replies “dude, come on, it’s a video game”.
Newgarden is relatively new to iRacing and has struggled to match his front-running team-mates Scott McLaughlin and Simon Pagenaud, both of whom won two races in the six-event series.
McLaughlin won the Indianapolis race – his first oval win – as he was the next driver in line after the Ferrucci/Askew crash.
Pagenaud has been at the centre of controversy after he declared he was going to intentionally crash into Lando Norris due to his belief that Norris had caused an accident that took out Pagenaud.
The latter was then slow-moving off Turn 4 in the closing laps right in front of Norris, leaving the McLaren F1 driver nowhere to go and the two collided. Pagenaud said that he hadn’t done that intentionally.