Formula One driver Nicholas Latifi received death threats after controversial season finale

Latifi highlighted the issue of online abuse

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Williams Formula One driver Nicholas Latifi said that he has received death threats for his involvement in the controversial finish of the championship-deciding season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Nicholas Latifi finished 17th in the Formula One standings for 2021.

Nicholas Latifi finished 17th in the Formula One standings for 2021. (Mario Renzi - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Latifi crashed with five laps to go, which led to a safety car period and decisions by the race director that erased the commanding lead held by Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton and set up a pass to claim the win and title by Red Bull's Max Verstappen on a final green flag lap.

Nicholas Latifi crashed his Williams with five laps to go in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Nicholas Latifi crashed his Williams with five laps to go in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. (Hasan Bratic/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Latifi said he received thousands of social media messages that were mostly supportive but also many filled with "hate and abuse," and he wanted to address the "bigger issue" publicly. 

"This isn’t some scripted statement, but rather me speaking my mind in the hope that this maybe sparks another conversation about online bullying and the drastic consequences it can have on people," Latifi wrote on his official website.

Nicholas Latifi apologized to his team for the DNF.

Nicholas Latifi apologized to his team for the DNF. (Hasan Bratic/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Latifi said he expected this sort of response, "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. What shocked me was the extreme tone of the hate, abuse, and even the death threats I received."

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The Canadian thanked those that did support him and said the only people he has to apologize to are his teammates, for not finishing the race.