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EXCLUSIVE: F1 Academy star opens up on ADHD 'struggle'

EXCLUSIVE: F1 Academy star opens up on ADHD 'struggle'

EXCLUSIVE: F1 Academy star opens up on ADHD 'struggle'

EXCLUSIVE: F1 Academy star opens up on ADHD 'struggle'

Being a racing driver has always been a physically challenging career, but only in recent years have racers' mental difficulties come into sharp focus.

The openness of athletes across all sports to openly discuss their mental health is a recent phenomenon that has shown the world how very human these often superhuman-appearing names are.

READ MORE: F1 announce FREE US TV channel for fans

One of McLaren's drivers was upfront with their ADHD neurodevelopmental condition and the difficulties it poses in an exclusive interview with GPFans.

After a social media storm engulfed them last year, they set the record straight on their 'silly mistake' and how they had hoped to make a positive impact for a cause close to their heart.

READ MORE: Hamilton handed HUGE penalty after chaotic Miami race

Struggling in the spotlight

Bustamante is a McLaren driver

In December 2023, Bianca Bustamante apologised for liking an X post that called her 'overrated' alongside an ableist caption against Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll that negatively used the word 'autism'.

"You don't get to make mistakes anymore ... not in the spotlight," said Bustamante. "Not when everyone else is watching. It was a silly, silly accident.

"It's really funny thinking about it because at COTA back in November, we met up with a chocolatier, and we were supposed to launch my chocolate brand dedicated to my brother, who has autism.

"We were supposed to launch it for my birthday, and all the proceeds and all the money I earned or the income would go to a foundation that I started to help autism because I feel so passionate about it."

After the public backlash, the launch never happened for Bustamante's January 19th birthday.

A challenging life

Bustamante is in F1 Academy

The F1 Academy star went on to detail that her neurodivergence adds complications to her life, saying, "Having ADHD and having to deal with all the challenges, the good, the bad...

"I struggle to focus sometimes. I struggle to live a normal life. I'm always fidgeting. "Even just doing this interview, I'm like moving everywhere, and it's a struggle, but it's something that I have to face as well.

"That's why I'm so deeply hurt that it was blown out of proportion that way. "A silly mistake that everyone who knows me very well knows I would never have said anything like that.

"I can't even have it in me to say it out loud, not after living with my brother and having what I've gone through, being in the Philippines, it's like we're a country that lacks support in every way.

"For me to just say those words out casually, I can't do it. And that's why, like a silly mistake sometimes can be blown out of proportion... but it is what it is.

"I've learned from it. I'm deeply sorry for what it may have cost. I should have been more careful, more vigilant, and I'm doing my best to learn from it."

Bustamante returned to action for F1 Academy's second 2024 race in Miami this weekend.

READ MORE: Crazy food prices outrage F1 fans at Miami GP

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McLaren Lance Stroll Bianca Bustamante
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