Lewis Hamilton taking break from ‘toxic social media’ in wake of F1 title furore

Lewis Hamilton has not posted on Twitter or Instagram since Abu Dhabi

Credit: AP

Lewis Hamilton is taking a "social media break", according to his younger brother, who expressed his concerns that social platforms have become "a very toxic place". 

The seven-time F1 champion has not posted on Twitter or Instagram since Max Verstappen snatched this year’s title from him. In an exchange with fans on Twitch, younger brother Nicolas, 29, was asked why Hamilton had recently unfollowed other accounts on Instagram. Nicolas said in response: "I think he is just having a bit of a social media break, which I don’t blame him for. Social media can be a very toxic place. But he’s cool though. He’s fine." 

In the weeks since Hamilton, 36, lost the title to Red Bull rival Verstappen, 24, in controversial fashion, there has been much speculation that the Briton may be considering his future. 

Hamilton congratulated Verstappen in his post-race interview but has been largely silent since his controversial defeat, with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff saying he was "disillusioned". 

Wolf said this week Hamilton is "in constant contact" with the team, but, in an interview with Motorsport-Total.com, added: "We are all wavering in emotions and Lewis most of all." 

Hamilton is not the only driver involved in the controversial finale in Abu Dhabi to take a break from social media since the race. Nicholas Latifi described receiving death threats after his smash into the barrier prompted the most controversial season crescendo in the sport’s history. 

Latifi, 26, crashed with five laps remaining in Abu Dhabi, resulting in the safety car being deployed. When the race was resumed with a lap left, Verstappen passed Hamilton to take the race and the world title from the Briton’s grasp. The FIA, the sport’s governing body, is still investigating the controversy, which centres around decisions taken by race director Michael Masi following the Latifi crash.

Describing how the subsequent furore had hit Hamilton, Wolff told Motorsport-Total.com: "He won the World Championship until the last lap, and then everything is taken away from you from one second [to the next]. Of course you lose faith because you can’t understand what has just happened."

Since Abu Dhabi, Hamilton has received a knighthood from Prince Charles. "What I told him before that was that he should try to take these positive moments with him during these few hours, in which his life’s work and his achievements are honoured," Wolff added. "I think he did that."

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