Dixon says “it’s all gloves off from this point” after his incident with O’Ward

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The two collided on lap 20 of the Long Beach GP.

Photo credit: Penske Entertainment | Joe Skibinski

Scott Dixon dropped to the back at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach after contact with Pato O’Ward on lap 20. Race direction didn’t penalise O’Ward, arguing that it was a racing incident.

The pair started on the third row of the grid, with Dixon ahead of O’Ward. With Newgarden having a fast start and climbing up to podium positions, they both lost a position.Dixon started with the green wall alternate tyres, while the Mexican started on the primary, which would give an advantage to the Arrow McLaren driver in the long term. So, by lap 20, Dixon’s tyres were worn out, while O’Ward’s still had grip.With resurfacing completed on the run to for turn 8 for this season, the track had more grip than usual in that braking zone, a fact that O’Ward used to his advantage.He dived down the inside of the Ganassi, but Dixon didn’t see him coming and shut the door on him. The pair banged tyres, Dixon lost control and went straight to the tyre barrier, while O’Ward was able to continue.

When the safety team got Dixon out of the wall, he was able to continue in the race until lap 39, when his car lost oil pressure. He wouldn’t be able to come back to the race track.In an interview with NBC, Dixon said: “I haven’t seen proper replays of it yet, but that seemed extremely late. “It starts way before that, we’re already committed to the corner. I understand there is tyre deg, all that kind of stuff going on but I wouldn’t have chosen to do that. But if that is how the series wants us to race then I guess it’s all gloves off from this point. That’s how it will be.”Speaking post-race, O’Ward felt he didn’t need to apologise: “I was on the inside, he decided to stay on the outside.“Well, I’m pretty much alongside him, nose in front of his or at least alongside him. I don’t know what to say, I’ve been racing Scott for a few years, if he feels that it was my fault, I’m sorry you feel that way, but I don’t agree.”O’Ward had another crash in turn 8 later on the race and would only finish in 17th-place, losing the championship lead to Marcus Ericsson.