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Lando Norris reveals the dark side of fame ahead of British Grand Prix

Lando Norris says he has been subjected to death threats (David Davies/PA)
Lando Norris says he has been subjected to death threats (David Davies/PA)

Lando Norris has revealed he has been subjected to death threats – and described social media abuse aimed at his model girlfriend as “horrific”.

The 22-year-old British driver, in his fourth Formula One campaign, has established himself as a fans’ favourite, with more than five million followers on Instagram.

But speaking ahead of Sunday’s British Grand Prix, Norris also revealed the dark side to fame.

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Race – Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari
Lando Norris has received death threats (David Davies/PA)

“I get death threats every now and then,” he said. “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.”

McLaren’s Norris, who is seventh in the world championship – one place behind Lewis Hamilton – made his relationship with 22-year-old Portuguese fashion model Luisinha Oliveira public at the start of the year.

He continued: “The amount of hate pages on social media dedicated to Luisinha now is pretty horrific. 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 Four, Formula Three, Formula Two and then Formula One.

“But having gone from never watching a Formula One 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.”