Lewis Hamilton vs Max Verstappen Abu Dhabi GP: Nicholas Latifi provides sad update

  • Craig Rae
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Canadian Formula 1 driver Nicholas Latifi has revealed he received death threats online in the wake of the season finale on Sunday, December 12.

The 26-year-old crashed his car into the barrier, causing a chain of events that led to Lewis Hamilton being overtaken by Max Verstappen in the race and ultimately, losing the Brit the world championship.

The Williams driver has since spoken of how the controversial crash has resulted in him receiving messages of ‘extreme hate’ and caused him to delete his social media profiles.

Writing on his own website, Latifi said: “Going back to the race weekend, as soon as the chequered flag dropped, I knew how things were likely to play out on social media.

“The fact that I felt it would be best if I deleted Instagram and Twitter on my phone for a few days says all we need to know about how cruel the online world can be.

“The ensuing hate, abuse, and threats on social media were not really a surprise to me as it’s just the stark reality of the world we live in right now. 

“I’m no stranger to being talked about negatively online, I think every sports person who competes on the world stage knows they’re under extreme scrutiny and this comes with the territory sometimes.”

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The FIA are still investigating the controversial incident in which the race director Michael Masi allowed the Safety Car to be introduced with just five laps remaining, enabling Verstappen to change his tyres in the pits and take advantage by overtaking Hamilton.

Sadly, Latifi seemed to have a sixth sense of what was about to come.

“But as we’ve seen time and time again, across all different sports, it only takes one incident at the wrong time to have things completely blown out of proportion – and bring out the worst in people who are so-called ‘fans’ of the sport.

What shocked me was the extreme tone of the hate, abuse, and even the death threats I received.

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ENTER GIVEAWAY

This comes despite the introduction of the ‘Hate Won’t Win’ campaign last year, with BBC and Sky Sports partnering to try and eradicate messages of hate online.

It seems, sadly, that some people won’t ever learn a lesson and there is still loads of work to do to fix this problem.

For more information on the campaign, please visit https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/57185970.

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