The young McLaren driver became somewhat of an internet sensation during COVID-19 lockdowns for his entertaining video-game streams. This was alongside fellow Formula One drivers Charles Leclerc, Alex Albon, and George Russell. Together they are known as ‘The Twitch Quartet”.
Last weekend’s Australian Grand Prix was the first time each member of the Twitch Quartet had scored a point in the same race.
He shared that he struggled during his rookie season in F1, 2019. In the interview from October 2021, he said that he felt depressed at times during that first year. He added that he would worry about his future.
It’s completely uncontentious to state that going on national television to talk about your mental health, and the struggles you’ve had, is a courageous thing to do. Even more so from someone so young, in the public eye, and working on the frontline of an international sport.
Last night’s unacceptable incident further shines a light on the increasingly toxic environment engulfing Formula One on social media.
This was intensified last season during the dramatic title showdown between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. It worsened in the fallout of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and Nicolas Latifi received death threats for causing the safety car that triggered the controversial final laps. Former race director, Michael Masi, also received death threats.
Much of the hate surrounding F1 is centralised to Twitter. And, it is not only directed towards those working at the pinnacle of the sport, but also fellow fans. Some have faced a torrent of foul abuse for seemingly innocuous comments.
It appears that the perpetrators of the abuse have forgotten that ultimately, Formula One is just a sport.
[Author’s Note: A previous version of this article was titled “Lando Norris receives death threat”. We received feedback that this was clickbait. I understand the concern and the point of view, so have amended the title accordingly. It was in no way my intention to mislead from the original title and we handle serious articles of this nature delicately and with the utmost sincerity. Thank you.]