F1 drivers speak up on the comments getting out of hands on social media with the sport seeing different level than it has anytime before.
The rise of social media in F1 has been witnessed overly in the last few seasons as new fans are joining the fray via different platforms especially due to Netflix’s Drive to Survive show. The older fans are still in support and are becoming more vocal now.
With the sport also opening up more on social media, it has also given a chance for fan rivalry to pop up whether it is driver based or team, both has seen quite the jump. The heated scenario increased over the 2021 F1 season amid a tense fight.
Fans of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes continue to have a fiery one against fans of Max Verstappen and Red Bull, with races in 2022 seeing out of line behaviours at certain moments. Ever since the 2021 decider, everyone has come under the firing line.
It started last year when Verstappen crashed out at Silverstone and Hamilton went on to win the grand prix. It only increased until Abu Dhabi where the happenings doubled the heated exchanges which continues till date and the recent cost cap breach raised it further.
Both the F1 drivers and teams have raised several concerns about it especially with the mental health being affected but it continues on despite the pleas. Verstappen, Hamilton and Sergio Perez once again raised the topic as they said:
Verstappen: “I think it’s just the sport is more popular so there are more people watching, so more people are writing. I think it’s just that. It’s not great that they are allowed to write these kinds of things so I hope we can come up with a kind of algorithm that stops people from being keyboard warriors, because these kind of people… they will never come up to you and say these things in front of your face, because they’re sitting in front of their desk or whatever at home, being upset, being frustrated, and they can write whatever they like because the platform allows you to. Yeah, that can be really damaging and hurtful to some people and it’s not how it should be.”
Hamilton: “Yeah, I think social media is getting more and more toxic as the years go on. I think we should probably get off it, ultimately. So many people… mental health is such a prominent thing right now. I know so many people reading their comments and the stuff that people say and it is hurtful. Fortunately, I don’t read that stuff but the media platforms definitely need to do more to protect people, particularly young kids and women. But at the moment, they’re not doing that so I think it will just continue.”
Perez: “Yeah, it’s a shame how are these people can feel how they feel, because you are just a public figure and they feel they can insult you, insult your family and just sitting behind the desk, they don’t understand that we are also human beings. And I think this has got to stop. And, obviously, as a sport, we need to also be responsible of what we post, by ourselves. We all have a lot of followers so it’s very important that we try to get the sport in the right way because Formula 1, it’s a great sport and has great values, but has to do more in that regard. And just in general, the social media world is getting far too toxic.”
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