Lewis Hamilton’s brother claims seven-time Formula One champion is taking a break from ‘very toxic’ social media after Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted Briton may ‘never get over’ controversial finale in Abu Dhabi
- Lewis Hamilton lost F1 title to Max Verstappen in controversial circumstances
- Briton was pipped by his rival on the final lap of the final round in Abu Dhabi
- Hamilton hasn’t posted on social media since the final race of the season
- Seven-time world champion has unfollowed everybody on Instagram
- Toto Wolff said Hamilton was ‘disillusioned’ with F1 after the Abu Dhabi GP
Lewis Hamilton is reportedly taking an indefinite break from social media in the aftermath of a dramatic ending to the Formula 1 season.
The Briton saw what would have been a record eighth world title evaporate in the final round of the season in Abu Dhabi two weeks ago, when Max Verstappen overtook him in controversial circumstances on the final lap.
While Hamilton was magnanimous in defeat in the post-race press conference, he hasn’t posted on his social media profiles since and has unfollowed every account he followed on Instagram.
Lewis Hamilton hasn’t posted on social media since the final round of the F1 season
His younger brother, Nicolas, suggested Hamilton’s decision to step away from Twitter and Instagram was down to the fact social media was a ‘very toxic place’ and felt the Mercedes star needed a break.
‘I think he is just having a bit of a social media break, which I don’t blame him for,’ he told fans during an exchange on video game streaming platform Twitch.
‘Social media can be a very toxic place. But he’s cool though. He’s fine.’
The seven-time Formula One champion has unfollowed everyone on Instagram
Last week, Williams driver Nicholas Latifi revealed he had received death threats on social media after crashing in Abu Dhabi. The 26-year-old hit the wall with five laps left, leading to the safety car being deployed.
That wiped out Hamilton’s lead, before race director Michael Masi took the controversial decision to allow the cars between the Briton and second-placed Verstappen to unlap themselves before the final lap.
Masi’s decision effectively turned the final lap into a title shootout, with Verstappen making his fresher tyres count by overtaking Hamilton to seal his first world championship crown.
The Briton (left) lost out in controversial circumstances to Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi
Hamilton was magnanimous in defeat and congratulated Verstappen after the race
‘The fact that I felt it would be best if I deleted Instagram and Twitter on my phone for a few days says all we need to know about how cruel the online world can be,’ Latifi said in a statement posted on Twitter.
‘The ensuing hate, abuse, and threats on social media were not really a surprise to me as it’s just the stark reality of the world we live in right now.
‘I’m no stranger to being talked about negatively online, I think every sports person who competes on the world stage knows they’re under extreme scrutiny and this comes with the territory sometimes.
‘But as we’ve seen time and time again, across all different sports, it only takes one incident at the wrong time to have things completely blown out of proportion – and bring out the worst in people who are so-called ‘fans’ of the sport.
Toto Wolff said ‘inconsistent’ decision-making led to controversies throughout 2021 season
Wolff said he felt Hamilton was ‘disillusioned’ with Formula 1 after the ending in Abu Dhabi
‘What shocked me was the extreme tone of the hate, abuse, and even the death threats I received.’
Speculation over Hamilton’s future has abounded since the controversial ending in Abu Dhabi and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff admitted earlier this week Hamilton was ‘still wavering in emotions’ after losing the title to Verstappen.
‘He won the World Championship until the last lap, and then everything is taken away from you from one second [to the next],’ he told Motorsport-Total.com.
‘Of course you lose faith because you can’t understand what has just happened.’
Wolff had previously admitted Hamilton was ‘disillusioned’ with F1 and would never get over the ending in Abu Dhabi, but insisted he was ready to help the seven-time world champion ‘overcome the pain that was caused upon him.’
The Mercedes team principal added: ‘I am in a daily dialogue with him. But there is not a lot to talk [about] at the moment. Each of us copes in their own way with the feelings we have at the moment.
I just need to do the utmost I can to help him to overcome the feelings that he has in order for him to return strong with a love of the sport and trust in the decision-making of the sport next year.’
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