Hamilton calls for action on social media after Latifi abuse

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Latifi faced a barrage of abuse on social media platforms after his late crash at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix brought out a safety car, which ultimately led to a final lap restart that decided the championship.

Driver Williams said in December he had faced death threats amid the abuse and revealed this week he had hired security for a public outing in London over Christmas over concerns.

Hamilton reached out to Latifi over the winter to show his support and spoke on Friday about the lack of action taken by social media companies in the face of abuse and hostility.

“At the end of the day, I don’t think there’s been a huge shift or change, or enough work that’s been done by these social platforms,” ​​Hamilton said.

“We still have to push for them to make changes. Mental health is a reality and through these social platforms people are being abused. No one deserves this and it should never be tolerated.

“They are able to change these things and make changes. But they don’t seem to be doing it fast enough. So I think we just have to keep pushing.

“I was in contact with Nicolas. He has my full support. And I know how difficult it can be in these situations. It’s important for him to know that he has the support of the people around him.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

Picture by: Mercedes AMG

Hamilton has faced racist abuse on social media before, including following his crash with Max Verstappen at Silverstone which prompted Mercedes, F1 and the FIA ​​to issue a joint statement.

Hamilton felt that while social media was a good tool for fans to show their passion for F1, he wanted them to “channel it in a positive, not a negative way”.

George Russell has joined Hamilton at Mercedes for the new season, but has been Latifi’s teammate for the past two years at Williams.

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Russell said he felt “really bad” for Latifi, calling the Canadian “an amazing guy”, and echoed Hamilton’s call for social media companies to do more.

“More needs to be done for the athletes and the people in the spotlight because the people behind the keyboard think they have the right to say whatever they want to someone trying to make a career out of it,” Russell said.

“It’s almost forgotten that everyone is human. I want to do everything I can. Likewise, I know that I am a young racing driver and I still need to learn and educate myself more about it.

“But something really needs to be done.”

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