Lando Norris has revealed that he has received death threats and abuse online.
The McLaren driver is popular with fans across the globe, and has been credited by some with bringing in a younger audience to F1 given his use of social media platforms.
However, Norris admits that his fame has come with a negative side.
"I get death threats every now and then," Norris told British newspaper The Independent.
"Most people do. Not enough gets done and it is tough.
"If I had seen the threats when I started in 2019, it would have had more effect, but now I understand when you have to laugh – not laugh at a death threat – but laugh at the silly comments people come up with and things they try to create to get attention.
"I want to race, travel the world, meet new people and create new experiences – and they are using their one life sat behind a computer in their bedroom looking to try and ruin, annoy and bully someone."
Norris reveals "horrific" abuse directed at girlfriend
Norris has also witnessed online abuse being directed at his girlfriend, Luisinha Oliveira, since making their relationship public earlier in the year.
"The amount of hate pages on social media dedicated to Luisinha now is pretty horrific," Norris explained.
"Instagram and Twitter are the main ones and it is not an easy thing for her. She has gone from quite a normal life to suddenly having a lot of followers, so she has to be more careful with what she says and does.
"It is difficult for her to be involved in it so quickly. At least in racing, you kind of go through it slowly and learn to adapt to it – from Formula 4, Formula 3, Formula 2 and then Formula 1.
"But having gone from never watching a Formula 1 race to suddenly being in that limelight is extremely tough and then to have to read the comments, too. I want to protect her from that."
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"From a mental state, it's never an easy thing to go through"
The issue is one that Norris has continued to open up about ahead of his home event, the British Grand Prix.
Despite being one of the more vocal drivers on such topics, the 22-year-old stresses that he is not the only one to receive abuse.
"I don't think it's just me," Norris told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"I think maybe I've been more open than a lot of other drivers [in] speaking about it and on certain topics and certain things, especially from the online abuse side of it.
"Especially because that's how I've grown up. I've grown up on these platforms and Instagram, Twitter, Twitch, whatever. It's something I love being part of and I'm very involved in.
"But, of course, me and I'm sure every other driver gets a lot of hate and abuse and things like that. From a mental state of it, it's never an easy thing to continue to go through and there's just no need for it whatsoever."
Norris thinks trolls are "wasting" their lives
In regards to the so-called trolls, Norris feels that they could be using their time in better ways.
"[It's] literally just coming from a person who's sitting behind their phone or a computer or whatever it is," he added.
"I just find it odd that someone's wasting their life doing something like this. They're not trying to go out and have fun and spend time with their friends and create memories, they're trying to bring people down, which I think is is a waste of our lives here.
"It's a shame, and of course it's never easy for me to speak about it, but it's something that – especially with the comments you get back and the change that people say I've had in their lives, and the impact that I've had on their lives, no matter if I'm confident or not to talk about it – the impact you can have overrides any of that.
"So if there's anything that I can ever help on, or I'm sure every driver wants to help on, then when you have that change and you can potentially save someone's life, that means more than anything."
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