Ba careful with what’s written on social media. That’s the lesson that IndyCar Series frontrunner Hélio Castroneves has learned the hard way after the championship’s last round at Long Beach.

Castroneves was one of a number of drivers eliminated in a multi-car shunt during the race – triggered by Ryan Hunter-Reay trying a ridiculous passing attempt on Josef Newgarden at Turn 4 – and shortly after, a cryptically-worded post was written on his Twitter feed (pictured right), which appeared directly critical of race officialdom.

Castroneves' offending TweetHunter-Reay received no penalty for his driving, despite the crash eliminating half a dozen competitors in the process.

Series officials have subsequently ruled that last year’s championship runner-up breached the championship’s Social Media Policy, and have placed the veteran Brazilian on probation through to the end of June. Should he commit another rules infraction, Castroneves could face a hefty fine or even find himself excluded from participating in future events.

Castroneves’ defence centered on the fact that the offending post was actually written by his sister, Kati, who helps manage the Brazilian’s Twitter feed when he is on track.

Castroneves later took to Twitter to apoligise for the slur written in his name, which was quickly deleted.

“I apologize for the earlier tweet degrading IndyCar Series which I did not write of agree with, unfortunately my sister used my Twitter account without my authorization while expressing her own thoughts, once again I apologize and the steward[s] were correct with the call made,” he wrote.

He is the second driver this year to find himself put on probation. KV Racing driver Sebastián Saavedra is also in the firing line until next month’s Indianapolis 500 after he was found to have failed to sufficiently yield to safety officials and vehicles who were onsite mopping up the Hunter-Reay-triggered shunt.

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Geoff Burke

Journalist at MotorsportM8
Site co-founder. Social Media guru. All-round trouble-maker.

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