Bianca Bustamante, the recently-recruited McLaren academy star, has issued an apology for “accidentally liking” a very offensive X post aimed at Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll.
The 18-year-old driver from the Philippines will have seen her profile raise significantly after joining McLaren’s Driver Development programme back in October, becoming the first female driver to so.
However, that raised profile has naturally drawn more attention and scrutiny and, as a result, a ‘liked’ post concerning the ability of Stroll was discovered.
Bianca Bustamante: I truly, deeply apologise
Bustamante would then issue a public apology for her actions and expressed her hope that “the racing community understands this is 100% an accident”.
“I truly, deeply apologise. I own up to mistakes having liked an inappropriate tweet, I can’t believe all the people whom I have hurt,” she wrote on X [formerly known as Twitter].
“I was scrolling and accidentally liked the tweet, once I discovered that later on, I immediately unliked it.
“As someone who grew up with my only brother having Autism, I completely understand the challenges faced by anyone with Autism.
“I would never in a million years support Ableism at any level, let alone support an Ableist tweet against a fellow driver.
“I take the topic of Autism very seriously and very personal.
“To Lance Stroll and anyone that this has offended, I sincerely apologise as these types of comments is something I do not support.
“I hope the racing community understands this is 100% an accident, my sincerest apologies for this big mistake.”
A few minutes later, Bustamante shared a video with her brother.
I rarely share so much about my personal life. But if there’s one thing that kept me going, it was my brother…
And truly I’m sorry to the whole Autism community. pic.twitter.com/s3gwnnTgym
— Bianca Bustamante (@racerbia) December 27, 2023
But the posting of the video would draw some more negative reaction from the racing community. The following reply receiving nearly 4k likes at the time of writing, more than double of the original video post:
“Just own up to your mistake. You didn’t unlike the tweet before it was deleted, everyone was checking and there’s no need to lie. Don’t drag your brother into this, no need to expose him to the situation.”
Another reply read: “Your brother would want you to keep your seat, we forgive you now. But maybe give a genuine apology rather than lying about liking it by accident then unliking it.”
Bustamante has over one million followers on Instagram and 57,000 followers on the X platform.