‘I have not seen a single death threat’ – IndyCar driver weighs in on Théo Pourchaire abuse

Elizabeth Blackstock
Agustin Canapino before the 2024 IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach

Agustin Canapino during the INDYCAR Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Travis Hinkle | IMS Photo)

Juncos Hollinger racer Agustín Canapino has finally responded to allegations that his Argentinian fanbase has bombarded McLaren driver Théo Pourchaire with “so much hate and death threats.” Simply put, Canapino doesn’t believe Pourchaire has been abused.

During this past weekend’s IndyCar Detroit Grand Prix, Pourchaire accidentally made contact with Canapino on the 60th lap of the race. While the move was largely a racing incident that resulted from the narrow nature of the track, Pourchaire was still penalized and forced to give up three positions. The incident should have ended there, but Pourchaire admitted on social media that he had received so many hateful messages that his Arrow McLaren team was forced to speak out to condemn the abuse.

Canapino: “I have learned to live with… abuse and hate”

As PlanetF1 reported previously, Juncos Hollinger driver Agustín Canapino has been involved in several of IndyCar’s most recent social media outbursts — namely, that his devoted Argentine fans have a tendency to attack Canapino’s competitors or teammates.

Generally, Canapino and Juncos Hollinger refrain from commenting on those situations, but this time, Canapino shared a statement on X in both Spanish and English that didn’t merely ignore Pourchaire’s concerns but that also minimized them.

The English statement read in full (EMPHASIS is original):

Of course, I am against abuse and hate. Those who engage in such behavior are certainly not part of our community and are not welcome here.

Also, we Argentines are passionate and euphoric, but that doesn’t mean we should be accused of something we are not. Therefore, I strongly reject being generalized and placed in a category we don’t deserve.

I have not seen a single death threat directed at those who claim to have received them. From last year to today, no one in their right mind would do such a thing. It’s outrageous to be accused of this so lightly, and I won’t allow it anymore. If anyone did this, THEY ARE NOT PART OF US, and we don’t deserve to be consider this way because of some misfit WE STRONGLY REJECT.

The majority of our fans are respectful and kind people, whom I deeply support and thank for their continuous support, through good times and bad.

I constantly receive abuse and hate, and I have learned to live with it as many people do, choosing to ignore it. There’s nothing sadder and more miserable than hiding behind social media to insult others.

Lastly, I take this opportunity to invite everyone to reconsider and help others reconsider that we must base our actions on respect above all. We are free to express our emotions and feelings, but with respect and tolerance. It’s the best way to evolve and become better as a society.

In his post, Canapino is also referring to his former teammate Callum Ilott. Ilott ultimately parted ways with Juncos Hollinger Racing at the end of 2023; he reported facing ample amounts of abuse from Canapino fans and allegedly grew frustrated waiting for Juncos Hollinger Racing to respond.

Catch up on allegations of abuse by Canapino’s IndyCar fanbase:

👉 IndyCar respond with ex-Ferrari junior among drivers receiving death threats

👉 McLaren release statement as Theo Pourchaire receives death threats after IndyCar crash

Marshall Pruett of RACER reports that he has viewed the death threats sent to Théo Pourchaire; he also reports that Arrow McLaren said it shared those messages with JHR.

Further, Canapino — or someone using his X account — seemed to completely ignore Canapino’s own calls for tolerance. Fans were able to view Canapino’s “liked” posts, and many were disparaging toward Pourchaire or Ilott.

For example, Canapino liked a post from ESPN Latin America IndyCar commentator Martin Ponte, who quoted Pourchaire’s post about abuse with the phrase, “Callum Pourchaire.”

Fans responding to Canapino’s post noted that his likes were public and available for anyone to see. Canapino has since cleaned up his liked posts but has also gone on to like other posts, one of which could be translated roughly to, “If the hate… comes from Argentina, it is wrong. But if it comes from anywhere else, it is okay?” He has liked still other posts questioning the authenticity of Pourchaire’s claims.

Hate and abuse in motorsport should never be tolerated, whether that hate is directed toward Théo Pourchaire or Agustín Canapino. Unfortunately, it seems as though Canapino’s teammates or rivals have been on the receiving end of ample abuse, more so than any others.

Complicating matters further is the fact that JHR and Arrow McLaren have forged a business relationship in IndyCar; when Arrow McLaren has extra sponsorship inventory, it places logos on the rear wheel ramps of the JHR Chevrolets. It is currently unclear how this battle between teams will impact their working relationship in the future.

Read next: Why the Detroit Grand Prix is the wrong race to capitalize on Indy 500 interest