Pagenaud/Wickens IndyCar Toronto 'dogfight' was on the limit

Robert Wickens and Simon Pagenaud say their "dogfight" for second place in IndyCar's Toronto race was on the limit of acceptable battling

Pagenaud/Wickens IndyCar Toronto 'dogfight' was on the limit

The pair's fight began after Pagenaud's Penske crew's quicker pitstop allowed the 2016 IndyCar champion to jump Wickens for second in the final round of stops after the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver had stopped a lap earlier.

Pagenaud was running on cold tyres into Turn 3 as Wickens attempted a move around the outside and squeezed his rival through the corner.

The Penske driver responded by pushing Wickens wide, making the SPM driver give up the overtake, which Wickens criticised over the team radio.

But Wickens later played down the incident, saying it was "right on the edge".

"I was expecting him [Pagenaud] to actually overcut me because I made a mistake on my out lap, I was kind of cursing myself the whole lap [saying], 'Oh God, this should be interesting'.

"I tried going into [Turn] 1. He [Pagenaud] defended it. We had a little contact there.

"Then it was kind of a dogfight straight up at Turn 3. I braked as late as I could, probably the latest through the entire race.

"Give credit when it's due, Simon was able to match it on cold tyres. Hats off to him.

"Then it was just good, hard racing. I was ultimately maybe hoping for a little bit more space on the exit.

"[But] When the guy is on cold tyres, you can only expect so much because he's trying to get as much grip as he can."

Pagenaud also described the battle as "hard racing".

"I'm coming out on cold tyres in a position advantage," said Pagenaud. "Robert tried. He had to go into turn one as deep as he could.

"I really thought I was actually going to crash in Turn 1 after we had contact.

"But I managed to get a really good run. I was like, 'OK, now I'm defending as hard as I can. I have to keep this position'.

"Obviously it's not about running each other into the walls or crashing. The key is to just be at the limit of that."

Wickens respects Rossi 'too much'

Wickens was also asked about his relationship with Andretti's Alexander Rossi, days after Indycar legend Paul Tracy suggested a rivalry between the two was something IndyCar needs.

Rossi crashed into Wickens at the St Petersburg season opener and Wickens said Rossi's loss of second place to a mechanical failure at Road America was "karma" for running him off track earlier in the race.

The duo have repeatedly stressed their friendship, but Rossi added IndyCar "isn't a friend competition" pre-Toronto.

"I'm a believer that you don't need to fight the guy in person to have a rivalry," Wickens said.

"We're both fierce competitors, but maybe I respect him more than he respects me, maybe that's the problem.

"He's an aggressive driver. Some days it's going to work for him and some days it's not."

shares
comments
Josef Newgarden can't explain crash while leading Toronto IndyCar
Previous article

Josef Newgarden can't explain crash while leading Toronto IndyCar

Next article

Herta explains how Andretti ran out of fuel in IndyCar Toronto race

Herta explains how Andretti ran out of fuel in IndyCar Toronto race
How Ericsson achieved Indy immortality as Ganassi's main man stumbled Plus

How Ericsson achieved Indy immortality as Ganassi's main man stumbled

Chip Ganassi Racing team was strong again in the Indianapolis 500, with poleman Scott Dixon and reigning champion Alex Palou leading almost three quarters of the race between them. But when dominator Dixon was penalised for pitlane speeding, ex-Formula 1 driver Marcus Ericsson stepped up to score the biggest win of his career and seize the IndyCar points lead

IndyCar
May 30, 2022
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 21, 2021
How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential Plus

How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential

Romain Grosjean's swashbuckling rookie year in IndyCar captured the imagination of many in 2021. But another ex-Formula 1 driver whose potential was masked by five years of toil in, at best, middling machinery also enjoyed a breakout year in 2021 - winning twice and finishing sixth in points. Here's how Marcus Ericsson finally delivered on his promise

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best Plus

How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best

IndyCar sophomore Alex Palou stunned by overcoming team-mate Scott Dixon and the rest of a white-hot field in 2021. He was consistently fast and crucially showed a level head, rebounding well from setbacks to put himself in a near unassailable position entering the final round

IndyCar
Nov 4, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Plus

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Despite appearing to have an IndyCar job for life with Meyer Shank Racing, Jack Harvey’s departure and move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate. However, Harvey's and RLL's combined strengths could prove to be a winning combination - if they get the balance right

IndyCar
Oct 17, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win Plus

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win

Saturday 16 October marks the 10th anniversary of Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Plus

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong junior career and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star Plus

Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star

Newly-crowned IndyCar champion Alex Palou has been lauded as a complete driver and veteran-like in only his second season. The 24-year-old is still in the early days of his career, but the parallels are there for all to see with his six-time champion Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate who has been CGR's team leader since 2014

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021