June 16, 2024
Motorsports

Canapino goes on leave from IndyCar following a disagreement over online harassment towards a fellow driver

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. — Agustín Canapino has taken a break from IndyCar racing after allegations that rival driver Théo Pourchaire had received threatening messages from Canapino supporters following an incident on the track between the two.

This weekend at Road America in Wisconsin, Canapino will not be racing, and Juncos Hollinger Racing has replaced him with rookie Nolan Siegel.

“Online abuse is not acceptable, and we must ensure that our drivers are mentally and physically prepared when they step into the car,” stated Juncos Hollinger Racing co-owner Brad Hollinger. “We are saddened by the circumstances that have led to this situation.”

The decision was made after Arrow McLaren Racing ended its technical and marketing partnership with JHR in light of the controversy. Pourchaire, the current F2 champion recently hired by McLaren, is involved in the incident.

JHR did not specify the duration of Canapino’s absence.

Pourchaire and Canapino had a collision last Sunday during a restart in Detroit, resulting in an avoidable contact penalty for the 20-year-old French driver. Pourchaire stated that he received death threats from Canapino supporters, a claim Canapino denied, citing a lack of evidence.

On Monday, Pourchaire mentioned that he had received threatening messages on social media following the Detroit incident.

“I am distressed by the hate and threats I have received in the last 24 hours for a minor incident at the Detroit GP,” wrote Pourchaire on X on Monday. “I hope people can understand that we are all human and can make mistakes. However, it is not acceptable to mistreat others online. Please show kindness to one another.”

Arrow McLaren and Juncos Hollinger issued a joint statement on Monday, emphasizing that they “will not tolerate any form of abuse or discrimination. Those engaging in such behavior are not welcome in our online community.”

The 34-year-old Canapino released a statement of his own, stating, “I am, of course, against abuse and hate,” while refuting claims that his supporters had issued death threats towards Pourchaire.

Canapino also appeared to offer advice to Pourchaire on handling online criticism.

“I receive abuse and hate frequently, and I have learned to deal with it like many others, choosing to ignore it,” Canapino expressed. “There is nothing more pathetic and miserable than hiding behind social media to insult others.”

Arrow McLaren announced on Thursday that it “has ended its commercial alliance with Juncos Hollinger Racing, effective immediately.” The partnership, established last October, was meant to assist the two teams in their growth through a technical and marketing collaboration.

Callum Ilott had previously reported receiving abuse from Canapino supporters while both were teammates at Juncos Hollinger Racing. Juncos Hollinger and Ilott parted ways at the end of the previous season.

This week, Canapino liked a social media post referring to Pourchaire as “Callum Pourchaire.”

“The increase in online abuse and harassment stemming from this week’s events has created a very challenging situation for Agustín, the team, and the entire IndyCar fan base, and the safety of Agustín and all other competitors must be the top priority,” stated Juncos Hollinger Racing in the announcement of Canapino’s departure.

“Abuse, hate, and harassment in any form are detrimental to the sport, and we must prioritize the mental and physical well-being of our drivers and competitors.”

FAQ

Q: Will Agustín Canapino return to IndyCar racing?

A: The duration of Agustín Canapino’s absence from IndyCar racing has not been specified by Juncos Hollinger Racing.

Q: How did Arrow McLaren Racing respond to the situation?

A: Arrow McLaren Racing terminated its technical and marketing relationship with JHR following the controversy.

Conclusion

The incidents involving Agustín Canapino, Théo Pourchaire, and their respective supporters highlight the importance of fostering a respectful and supportive environment in motorsport. It is essential to address online abuse and harassment to ensure the well-being of all participants in the sport.

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