F1: Lando Norris reveals he receives death threats online and his girlfriend has ‘hate pages’
British Formula 1 star Lando Norris has revealed how he regularly receives death threats on social media.
The 22-year-old McLaren driver, who is seventh in the drivers’ championship, has also shared how his girlfriend Luisinha Oliveira has devoted ‘hate pages’ to her through online trolls.
Norris has grown accustomed to public scrutiny with the youngster now in his fourth season in Formula 1.
But his girlfriend, a Portuguese model, has also been put in the spotlight after their relationship became public earlier this year.
Norris has tried to protect her, but has been candid about the hatred he receives, as well as the “horrific” abuse directed against her.
Speaking with the The sun, he said: ‘Whether it’s my personal life, me and my girlfriend, especially the number of hate pages now devoted to Luisinha. It’s pretty awful.’
F1 star Lando Norris has revealed he receives death threats on social media
Norris has also revealed how he tries to protect his girlfriend, Portuguese model Luisinha Oliveira, who receives ‘horrific’ abuse online with ‘hate pages’ on social media dedicated to her.
He added: ‘Because she has a normal life and suddenly has a lot of followers, she needs to be more careful about what she says and does.
“Formula 1 is a big step, but before her she had never seen a race. And suddenly being in that spotlight is extremely hard for someone to go through and the amount of comments she gets – and I want to protect her.”
Norris, who finished second in his career in the Italian Grand Prix, says many of the comments he receives have to do with his driving behavior and accusations that “different drivers are treated differently”.
He says he also receives hate about his team’s radio messages during races where it sounds like complaining, while just asking normal questions of his race engineer, William Joseph.
The McLaren star believes that “not enough is being done” about online abuse despite reporting the messages he receives, and he has criticized internet trolls for “wasting their lives”.
Norris says his hate speech mostly has to do with his driving style, accusations that ‘other drivers are treated differently’ or because he sounds like he’s complaining on team radio
He said, “The thing I think is the funniest in a way is that people spend their one and only life on Earth just sitting in front of a computer trying to ruin and bully someone.
“When people make fake pages and fake chats, and fake WhatsApp messages, I think, ‘Is that what you’ve been doing all your life?’ They’re wasting their lives.’
The youngster has previously suffered from depression after breaking into F1 at the age of 19, admitting that social media pressured him as a rookie.
He told ITV’s This Morning program last year: ‘When you enter Formula 1 at the age of 19, a lot of eyes are on you. So dealing with all this stuff took its toll on me.
“The feeling of, I don’t know what’s next, if this goes wrong, if I don’t go out the next session to perform, what’s going to happen, what’s the outcome of all this? Will I be in Formula 1 next year?
‘If I’m not, what am I going to do? Because I’m not really good at many other things in life.
“So just all that, and then I often feel depressed that if I’m having a bad weekend, I just think, I’m not good enough and stuff like that.”
Norris prepares for his home race with the F1 circus heading to Silverstone this weekend
Norris said working with his McLaren team and mental health charity Mind had helped him.
“I’m in a much better place now. I am much happier and can enjoy everything I do,’
Norris has quickly risen through the ranks following his promotion from Formula 2 in 2019.
Highly regarded as one of the stars of the future, the Briton finished sixth in the championship last season and nearly won the Russian Grand Prix but dropped out of line at the end of the race when it rained.
Norris spoke out ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
His McLaren team had a frustrating weekend in Canada last weekend, and Norris is hoping for a good finish for his home fans after finishing 15th in Montreal.