IndyCar fires back after British driver bombarded with death threats

Last weekend's Grand Prix of Long Beach was won by Kyle Kirkwood.

IndyCar have officially released a statement following last weekend’s Grand Prix of Long Beach, after former Ferrari junior driver Callum Ilott received death threats due to an incident which took place during the race.

Death threats and online abuse are a growing issue in motorsport, with several drivers from multiple championships having taken to social media in the past 12 months in a plea to fans to stop the dangerous behaviour.

Ilott is the latest driver to have been bombarded by horrific online abuse and death threats, after he impacted his team-mate’s chances of winning Sunday’s race.

The British driver exited the pits directly ahead of Agustín Canapino who was surprisingly leading the race, with Ilott having been a lap down.

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As a result, Canapino was overtaken by a bunch of cars behind him, before he hit a wall and retired from the race.

Following his retirement, Canapino’s fans took to social media to blame Ilott for the Argentine driver’s retirement, with Ilott have sarcastically shared on Twitter that the amount of abuse he received was a “new record by far”.

“Genuinely impressed by the amount of death threats and abuse I’ve received,” Ilott wrote on Twitter.

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

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He went on to take aim at Argentine commentator Martin Ponte, who he told to “think about the message you want to send people”.

“A certain level of professionalism is needed when you hold a microphone that sends a message to 100k+ people,” Ilott added.

“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.”

Since Ilott revealed the amount of abuse he’d received since the race, IndyCar has made a full statement condoning “disrespectful and inappropriate online abuse”, with Ilott having not been the only targeted driver after the race.

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“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.”