Norris reveals ‘pretty horrific’ death threats on social media

Michelle Foster
Lando Norris hiding behind helmet. Canada June 2022

McLaren driver Lando Norris hiding behind helmet. Canada June 2022

Lando Norris says the number of hate pages and death threats directed towards him and his girlfriend, Luisinha Oliveira, are “pretty horrific”.

Arriving on the Formula 1 grid in 2019 as a teenager, Norris has previously spoken of the online abuse he has faced and how that has affected his mental health.

Sadly it is now his girlfriend who is bearing the brunt of that.

Going public with their relationship, the 22-year-old Portuguese model has received death threats and even has “hate pages dedicated” to her.

But while for Norris, as awful as it is to say, is used to online trolls, for Oliveira this has come as a shock.

“Of course,” the McLaren driver told The Sun when asked if he had ever received death threats. “It can be a very big variance of things.

“Whether it’s about my personal life, me and my girlfriend, especially the amount of hate pages dedicated to Luisinha now. It is pretty horrific. They are on Instagram and Twitter, they are the main ones.

“It is not an easy thing because if you come from such a different life to Formula One, it is the biggest contrast.

“Having a normal life to all of a sudden having lots of followers, she has to be more careful of what she says and does.

“In racing, you go through it a bit more slowly and you learn to adapt to it. Between Formula Four to Formula Three and up to Formula Two.

“Formula One’s a big step but for her, she’d never watched a race before.

“And suddenly being in that limelight is extremely tough for someone to go through and the amount of comments she gets – and I want to protect her.”

As for what he has to deal with, the 22-year-old says he receives a lot of criticism and anger online either for his racing or because of how his radio messages to McLaren are interpreted.

And that, he says, he “freaking hates”.

“A lot of the comments are to do with my driving and accusations that different drivers get treated differently,” he added.

“Just because I’m British and driving in a British team, everyone thinks there’s always a bias for that.

“And then there are things I’ll say on the team’s radio where I always sound like I’m complaining, which I freaking hate.

“I’m just asking a normal question but because you’re breathing a bit quicker, it always comes across sounding like I’m complaining.”

To those people Norris pretty much says get a life.

“What I find the funniest in a way is people are actually spending their one life on Earth just sat behind a computer trying to ruin and bully someone,” he said.

“When people are creating fake pages and fake chats, and fake WhatsApp messages, then I am like, ‘You’re actually spending your life doing that?’. They’re wasting their life.

“Not enough gets done. I report the things I see but, there are so many, I don’t have time to go through them all.

“I want to race, travel the world and meet new people and create experiences and they are behind their computer, in their bedroom.

“I just find it hilarious that’s what they choose to do with their lives.”