Canapino responds to online attacks against Pourchaire

Juncos Hollinger Racing’s Agustin Canapino has released a statement after the latest online attacks by some of the Argentinian’s fans were made against Arrow McLaren Racing’s Theo Pourchaire.

Pourchaire errantly rammed into the side of Canapino’s car on Sunday at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, improved his position, was ordered to surrender three positions in a penalty assessed by the NTT IndyCar Series for the infraction, and went on to finish 10th, two spots ahead of Canapino in 12th.

The attacks, some of which were death threats as Pourchaire stated, are the third of their kind in relation to Canapino’s fans, following on from incidents involving former JHR driver Callum Ilott in April of 2023, and again in September of 2023 when he and Canapino became entangled.


The 34-year-old Canapino took umbrage with how his countrymen and women have been characterized by some in the ongoing social media incidents.

“Of course, I am against abuse and hate,” Canapino wrote. “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.”

RACER has also verified with the Arrow McLaren team that Pourchaire took screen captures of the direct messages he received, shared them with the team, and team has confirmed some of the messages were death threats. RACER also understands those messages were shared with JHR, which entered into a new business relationship with Arrow McLaren during the offseason.

Nonetheless, a defiant Canapino questioned the validity of the assertions by Ilott and Pourchaire in his self-published response to the matter.

“I have not seen a single death threat directed at those who claim to have received them,” he said. “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(ed) this way because of some misfit(s) 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.”

Striking the same tone exhibited by JHR following last year’s threats towards Ilott, Canapino suggested the best way for Pourchaire to handle online threats and abuse is to not let them become bothersome.

“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,” he said.

“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 an apparent contradiction to his call for respect and tolerance, Canapino has been active on social media, where he’s liked critical and mocking posts aimed at Pourchaire.

One post, made by ESPN Latin America IndyCar commentator Martin Ponte, who fueled the first attacks against Ilott last year, features a like from Canapino on a post from Ponce that refers to the 20-year-old Frenchman as ‘Callum Pourchaire,’ among other negative items he’s liked since Sunday.

IndyCar spoke to the contretemps in a statement of its own Tuesday morning.

“No one should be the victim of online abuse or threats,” the series wrote. “IndyCar has been in touch with both teams to discuss this matter and made certain where we stand. We all have a responsibility to reinforce a welcoming atmosphere and firmly denounce clear violations of online conduct.”

It’s unclear whether the mild business ties between the team and Arrow McLaren, which pays to make use of small space on the rear tire ramps of JHR’s entries for Romain Grosjean and Canapino to place sponsor logos if needed, will be affected.

Story originally appeared on Racer