- Lewis Hamilton says social media is becoming more and more ‘toxic’ over the years
- The seven-time F1 champion has called on platforms to do more to protect people.
- His comments come after Max Verstappen complained about the persecution online.
- Verstappen refused to speak to Sky Sports about comments on his title
- Meanwhile, Hamilton was also involved in a separate dispute with Fernando Alonso.
Lewis Hamilton, who has more than 30 million followers on Instagram and almost 8 million devotees on Twitter, has said that everyone should get off “toxic” social media.
The seven-time world champion spoke after finishing second to Max Verstappen at Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix, a race filled with acrimony on several levels before and after.
Verstappen complained of being hounded on social media after ‘a particular presenter’ on Sky Sports, believed to be pitlane reporter Ted Kravitz, questioned the validity of the Dutchman’s world title last season.
Kravitz’s on-camera claims that Hamilton was “stolen” from the championship prompted Verstappen and Red Bull to withdraw all cooperation with Sky in Mexico City.
Hamilton, meanwhile, was involved in a separate dispute with his former McLaren teammate, bitter rival and two-time world champion Fernando Alonso.
The Spaniard claimed in an interview that Hamilton’s championships were won with less effort than Verstappen’s because the Briton only had to fight his teammates for them, not other teams.
Lewis Hamilton has claimed that social media is becoming “increasingly toxic” over the years.
His comments come after Max Verstappen complained of being hounded online after a reporter, believed to be Ted Kravitz, questioned the validity of his 2021 title.
That prompted Hamilton to post a photo on Twitter of himself standing on the top step of the podium at the 2007 United States Grand Prix looking down at Alonso one step below.
The image attracted 291,000 likes and 13,000 comments.
However, Hamilton said: “Social media is becoming more and more toxic as the years go by and I think we should all ultimately give it up.”
‘Mental health is a very important thing right now. A lot of people are reading the comments and the things that people are saying, and it’s hurtful.
“Fortunately, I don’t read the material, but media platforms need to do more to protect people, particularly young children and women, but at the moment they’re not doing that, so I think this will continue.”
Hamilton, who employs staff to help look after his social networks, including London-based agency Freuds, posted on Instagram after Sunday’s race suggesting he’s not quite ready to sever his ties to the platforms. He has used them before to resolve arguments.
Kravitz suggested Hamilton had been ‘robbed’ during last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Of his dispute with Alonso, Hamilton said: ‘I don’t have much to say about it. He makes me laugh a bit to be honest. I have tried to be very respectful over the years.
‘When I have been asked who has been the best driver, I have always tried to praise him. It’s definitely interesting to see the comments being made, but it doesn’t really matter, which is why I just gave the thumbs up.’
Double world champion Verstappen, who is a somewhat social media averse exponent but posted on Instagram at least six pictures after the last race and has 9.5m Instagram followers, said: “Sport is more popular than ever. “. More people are watching it and more people are writing about it.
Hamilton was involved in a dispute with Fernando Alonso in which he posted this photo after the Spaniard said that Hamilton’s championships were won with less effort than Verstappen’s.
World champion Verstappen (centre) and Hamilton (left) have called on social media platforms to do more to protect people from hurtful comments from online trolls.
‘But it is not good that they are allowed to write this kind of thing. I hope we can come up with an algorithm to prevent people from being keyboard warriors because these kinds of people would never say these kinds of things to your face.
“But they are sitting in front of their computers at home upset, frustrated, and they can type whatever they want.
“It can be really damaging and hurtful to some people and it’s not how it should be.”