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

Michelle Foster
Callum Ilott hands on hips. IndyCar Long Beach April 2023

Callum Ilott hands on hips. IndyCar Long Beach April 2023

Former Ferrari junior driver Callum Ilott has sarcastically said he’s “impressed” by the number of death threats he has received in the wake of Sunday’s IndyCar race in Long Beach.

Ilott’s Juncos Hollinger Racing team-mate Agustín Canapino had been unexpectedly leading the race with an out-of-sync strategy when Ilott exited the pits and inadvertently held up his team-mate.

Attacked by those behind, Canapino lost the lead and hit the wall as he tussled with Helio Castroneves, his race over with suspension damage.

Canapino’s fans took to social media to hurl abuse Ilott, blaming him for the Argentine driver’s DNF.

Ilott sarcastically responded: “Genuinely impressed by the amount of death threats and abuse I’ve received.

“Definitely a new record by far, really appreciate the effort to help me learn all these new Spanish words.”

He later aimed another tweet at Argentine commentator Martin Ponte, saying: “A certain level of professionalism is needed when you hold a microphone that sends a message to 100k+ people.

“I suggest you think about the message you want to send to people. I suggest you educate yourself on IndyCar racing and commentating to a better standard. Be kind please.”

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IndyCar has since released a statement, condemning in no uncertain terms the online abuse aimed at the driver.

“Over the last 24 hours, some of our drivers have been the target of disrespectful and inappropriate online abuse,” read the statement. “There is no place for this behaviour in our sport.

“While fierce competition and rivalry will always be a mainstay of IndyCar racing, it’s important to showcase and celebrate these attributes with ultimate respect and concern for the well-being of our competitors.

“IndyCar is a community that should always strive to build upward with support and appreciation for one another.”