McLaren Formula 1 junior driver Bianca Bustamante offered an apology for liking an ableist tweet aimed at Aston Martin F1 driver Lance Stroll.
Recently recruited McLaren academy driver Bianca Bustamante has apologized for “accidentally liking” an extremely abusive X post directed at Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll.
As the first female driver to enrol in McLaren’s Driver Development program back in October, the 18-year-old driver from the Philippines will certainly experience an enormous rise in her career profile.
But the increased exposure has unavoidably attracted further attention and scrutiny, and as a result, a “liked” post regarding Stroll’s abilities came to light.
The aforementioned post on X (formerly Twitter) was a reaction to a TikTok video that labeled F1 Academy driver Bustamante as ‘overrated.’ The tweet includes a screenshot of Bustamante with the term ‘overrated’ underneath it and a derogatory ableist comment about Stroll in the description.
The fact that Bustamante approved that tweet triggered an uproar on social media. However, a few hours later Bustamante offered an apology via her X account after the post was taken down.
“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,” Bustamante wrote.
“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 apologize 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.”
Bustamante later shared a video featuring her brother.
However, sharing the video would cause the racing community to react negatively a lot more. At the moment, the immediate response has around 4,000 likes—more than twice as many as the original video post.
One fan replied: “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. but don’t drag your brother into this, no need to expose him to the situation.”
Another said: “I really hope you understand your brother isn’t a free pass here, honestly I think it’s even worse that you liked a post using autism as a put down if autism is as ‘personal’ to you as you say. I hope you actually listen to the autism community and educate yourself.”
Bustamante has more than 57,000 followers on X and 1.1 million followers on Instagram.
She placed ninth in the inaugural F1 Academy season after racing in W Series the previous season.