Latifi security beefed up after ‘extreme death threats’

Michelle Foster
Nicholas Latifi at the Qatar Grand Prix. Lusail November 2021.

Nicholas Latifi on practice day for the Qatar Grand Prix. Lusail November 2021.

Receiving death threats after the Abu Dhabi finale, Nicholas Latifi was forced to take extra security with him on his winter holidays.

The Canadian was the catalyst in last year’s title fight, his late-race crash at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix bringing out the Safety Car that ultimately cost Lewis Hamilton an eighth World title.

Two weeks later, the driver revealed he had been receiving a lot of “hate and abuse” on social media and even death threats.

Death threats he and Williams took very seriously, so much so he said at the launch of the Williams FW44 he even had to take extra security on his post-season holiday.

“It sounds silly to some people,” he said. “But at the end of the day, you don’t know how serious people are.

“All it could take is one drunk fan at an airport, or you bump into someone that’s having a bad day – intoxicated or under the influence of something – and has these really extreme opinions.

“All it takes is that one in a million.

“So, [after] some days I was back in London after the race and I did have some security with me when I was doing certain things.

“I went to Winter Wonderland with my girlfriend – because we didn’t manage to fit that in before the last block of races – and I had some security detail with me on that.

“So yeah, it sounds funny, it sounds silly, but we definitely did take the threats seriously because you really don’t know what could happen.

“It’s just an unfortunate reality of the world we live in and there were extreme death threats that went way over the line.”

Hamilton, the person who – aside from the Williams team given they faced another repair bill – had the most right to feel aggrieved by Latifi’s crash, was among the first to send him a message of support.

“In terms of support I got, Lewis did send me a message, a few days after, just before I released the statement,” he said. “I won’t go into details of what he said.

“I also got messages of support from other team members at Mercedes as well.”

They, however, were not the only ones to support the driver.

Following his statement, several drivers, including Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz, spoke out against the hate drivers face from some extreme fans, if one can call them that.

Latifi added: “Obviously the whole outcry of support on social media from multiple drivers, teams, across so many different disciplines was really nice to see and encouraging.

“Obviously everyone agreed with the whole sentiment and message.

“This hasn’t been the only instance of a situation like this with online abuse.

“Even going outside of motorsport, the next most recent one was probably the Euros with the three England players missing the penalties and all the fall-back they got after that.


“It’s an issue unfortunately we have in the world with social media. Social media brings a lot of good, gives people a lot of access to things they wouldn’t normally be able to engage with.

“But at the same time, these negative pitfalls can happen. It would just be nice to find more ways to do better on that front.”


PlanetF1 Verdict


Latifi had to increase security after death threats

Nicholas Latifi increased his security over the winter break after receiving death threats.