McLaren condemns Pourchaire ‘death threats’ after Detroit clash


IndyCar outfit Arrow McLaren stepped in on Monday evening to denounce the online abuse directed at its driver Theo Pourchaire following the Frenchman’s run-in with Juncos Hollinger’s Agustin Canapino in Sunday’s Detroit Grand Prix.

Pourchaire was hit on social media with a barrage of criticism, insults and even death threats fired off by Canapino’s fiery fans after last weekend’s round of racing in Motor City.

The chaotic race was marred by multiple caution periods. But on one particular restart, Pourchaire made a risky maneuver as the field entered the Turn 3 hairpin, the Arrow McLaren charger sliding sideways and colliding with Canapino.

The move set back both drivers but appeared as an unfortunate racing incident in the grand scheme of things, except for Canapino’s fans who were infuriated by the incident.

The fanbase took to to vent its fury, with tweets quickly getting out of hand and turning abusive towards Pourchaire, which decided McLaren to intervene.

“Arrow McLaren and @juncoshollinger will not tolerate any form of abuse or discrimination,” the team wrote on X. “Those participating in such actions are not welcome in our online community.”

Pourchaire followed suit with a message of his own lamenting the abuse and harassment.

“I’m sad I received so much hate and death threats in the last 24 hours for such a small incident in the Detroit GP. I hope people can understand that we are all humans and we can make mistakes. But it’s not normal to abuse people online.. Please be kind to each other,” he wrote.

While Arrow McLaren included Juncos’ handle in its message, there was oddly no direct response from the Canapino’s team either online or on its website.

Unfortunately, this wasn't the first instance of Canapino's fans resorting to online abuse.

Last year, ex-Juncos Hollinger driver Callum Ilott faced similar attacks after the Long Beach Grand Prix but also after a race at Laguna Seca which ultimately led to the Briton's departure from the team.

Furthermore, in the wake of last Sunday’s fracas, Canapino’s fans circulated a clip of team owner Ricardo Juncos using derogatory language towards Pourchaire, allegedly calling the Sauber F1 reserve driver a "son of a bitch" in Spanish in reaction to the crash, further escalating the situation.

The incident highlights once again the dark side of social media in motorsport, where passionate support can turn on a whim into toxic behavior.

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