McLaren Formula 1 junior Bianca Bustamante has apologised for liking an ableist tweet that targeted Aston Martin F1 driver Lance Stroll.
The post on X (previously Twitter) in question was responding to a TikTok video that called F1 Academy driver Bustamante 'overrated'.
The tweet featured a screenshot of Bustamante with the word 'overrated' underneath, along with a caption that included an offensive ableist remark against Stroll.
There was social media backlash when it was discovered that Bustamante had liked that tweet.
A few hours later the post was removed and Bustamante then issued an apology via her X account.
"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," the 18-year-old driver 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 then shared a video of 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...— Bianca Bustamante (@racerbia) December 27, 2023
And truly I’m sorry to the whole Autism community. pic.twitter.com/s3gwnnTgym
Bustamante finished seventh in the inaugural F1 Academy season, having previously raced in the final year of W Series.
She was the first female driver to be signed up to an F1 team for the 2024 F1 Academy season with McLaren signing her to its driver development programme in October.
Bustamante has 1.1 million followers on Instagram and over 57,000 on X.