Lewis Hamilton: Social media abuse shouldn’t be tolerated

Lewis Hamilton believes social media sites need to be pressured into better stamping out abuse on their platforms after fellow Formula 1 driver Nicholas Latifi was subjected to death threats.

Latifi was targeted online after his crash at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix sparked the controversial chain of events that led to Max Verstappen pipping Hamilton to the world title.

“Ultimately, I don’t think there’s been a huge change or shift, or enough work that’s been done by these social platforms,” Hamilton said.

“We still have to apply pressure for them to make changes. Mental health is a real thing and through these social platforms, people are experiencing abuse. No one deserves that and it should never be tolerated.

“They’re able to change these things and make changes. But they don’t seem to do it quick enough. So, I think we just need to continue to apply pressure.”

Hamilton added that he had reached out to Latifi personally after it was revealed the Williams driver was receiving abuse.

“I was in touch with Nicholas,” he said. “He has my full support. And I know how difficult it can be in those situations. It’s important for him to know that he has support from people around him.”

At the time of the threats, Latifi has apologised for crashing and hired security as he felt in danger. He spoke about the siuation and said: “It sounds silly to some people. But at the end of the day, you don’t know how serious people are.

“All it could take is one drunk fan at an airport, or you bump into someone that’s having a bad day – intoxicated or under the influence of something – and has these really extreme opinions. All it takes is that one in a million.”