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Latifi backs FIA anti-abuse campaign after Abu Dhabi death threats

Nicholas Latifi experienced abusive comments on social media following the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Several months on, a campaign has been launched to drive abuse of any kind out of Formula 1.

Nicholas Latifi has given his backing to the FIA's Drive it Out initiative aimed at ending any kind of abuse within F1, having experienced death threats himself following the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. During the infamous title decider, Lewis Hamilton was cruising to what would have been a comfortable victory at the Yas Marina Circuit when Latifi hit the barriers in the final sector and brought out the Safety Car. This gave Red Bull the opportunity to pit Max Verstappen for Soft tyres and restart the race right behind Hamilton, who was on old Hard tyres. Verstappen then passed Hamilton to win the race – and with it the title – on the final lap. In the days after the race, Latifi revealed that he had received abusive comments on social media , and admitted to being shocked by "the extreme tone of the hate, abuse and even the death threats I received".

Latifi: There needs to be steps being taken

Latifi is feeling positive about the FIA's campaign, which launched in July along with a video featuring all 20 drivers, CEO Stefano Domenicali and FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem as they called for greater respect to be shown, whether it be online or at events. "I'm all for it, obviously,' Latifi told media, including RacingNews365.com . "I think it's good. I think that the most important thing now is having ways to action upon reporting abuse and whatnot and obviously not just sending the message. "I think sending a message is the first step, [it's] important and obviously everyone's united in that. "Obviously, there needs to be some steps being taken when there's wrongdoing that's there. So yeah, [I'm] fully supportive of it."

Latifi put Abu Dhabi abuse behind him in pre-season

When asked if the abuse is still ongoing, Latifi explained that he has moved on from what happened. "No, if we're speaking about [abuse] from Abu Dhabi, for me it's long gone," the Williams driver added. "Already, coming into the season, for me it was [a case of] kind of putting it behind me." Latifi also confirmed that he has not reached out to former F1 Race Director Michael Masi, who has spoken about receiving death threats in the wake of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix .

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