Lando Norris says “very creepy” and “nasty” social media users have been the worst part of his rise to fame in Formula 1.
The McLaren driver is a particularly popular figure in Formula 1 on social media, with 4.4 million followers on Instagram alone, and he was dubbed as one of the members of the so-called ‘Twitch Quartet’ to enter Formula 1 at a similar time alongside Alex Albon, Charles Leclerc and George Russell.
However, like many others in his position, his life in the public eye has come at the price of being opened up to troll accounts which do not just fire abuse his way, but at family and friends also – making it hard for him to keep a lid on his personal life.
The 22-year-old has been praised for opening up about his mental health struggles as a Formula 1 driver, but he particularly resents how people around him have been targeted by a certain section of online users.
“I think the one bad thing is just personal life with friends, people who through no fault of their own get put into the spotlight sometimes because of being seen with me, or me following them on social media or something,” Norris told ESPN.
“I think that’s been the worst side of it – someone who is just quiet on their own and they are seen with me at dinner or on a post on Instagram. There’s still a lot of nasty fans, a lot of fans which are just not nice and just use a lot of people and things like that.
“I’d say the worst thing about the popularity is those kind of people. The people who don’t respect your personal life at all and the people you hang with and so on. That’s definitely the worst bit of it.
I’m as excited as @lance_stroll is pic.twitter.com/gTaM3GDPgN
— Lando Norris (@LandoNorris) November 18, 2021
“There are. It’s very, very weird,” Norris added when asked if some social media users find information about his friends without meeting them in person.
“Honestly, it’s very creepy what some people do. The time they spend trying to investigate things or people or whatever.
“I just laugh and find it very funny, but it’s very weird. It’s just odd.”
Norris is usually a jovial character when it comes to what he posts online, but he said he draws the line when he sees people he knows being abused on social media when they have been associated with him in some way – which he feels is the only part of his life he “hates” at the moment.
“It’s disrespectful, I feel, to someone who through no fault of their own, I guess because they are my friend or something, gets abuse on social media because someone doesn’t like the top they wear and it’s because they are friends with me…crap like that,” he explained.
“That’s the only thing I really hate about being in the position I’m in now.”
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