NICHOLAS LATIFI has revealed he hired SECURITY GUARDS during a trip to London following death threats he received from Lewis Hamilton fans.
The 26-year-old has stated how he felt forced to protect himself rom a potential attack when he visited London’s Winter Wonderland after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Williams driver Latifi declared in December how he had received shocking abuse following his crash in the Formula One season finale.
The Canadian ace crashed into the barriers on lap 54 which resulted in a safety car being deployed.
This ultimately wiped out Hamilton lead in the Middle East, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen then pipping him to a record eighth world title on the last lap.
And with the abuse so extreme, Latifi has said he felt obliged to take measures to protect himself when he was out with his model girlfriend Sandra Dziwiszek.
Speaking at Williams’ car launch on Tuesday, he remarked: “It sounds silly to some people but at the end of the day, you don’t know how serious people are.
“All it needs is one drunk fan at an airport, or you bump into someone who is having a bad day and they are intoxicated under the influence of something and they have these really extreme opinions.
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“It takes just that one-in-a-million person.
“I was back in London after the race, and I had security with me when I went to Winter Wonderland with my girlfriend.
“You have to take the threats seriously because you don’t know what might happen.
“And it is just an unfortunate reality of the world we live in and there were extreme death threats which went way over the line.”
Latifi then revealed that Hamilton sent him a classy message of support where he was quick to check in on him following the abuse.
He added: “In terms of the support I got from it afterwards, Lewis did send me a message just a few days before I released the statement.
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“Obviously I won’t go into details of what he said. I did get some messages of support from other team members at Mercedes as well.
“Obviously the whole outcry of support on social media from multiple drivers, teams across so many different disciplines was really nice to see, encouraging to see.
“Obviously, everyone agreed with the whole sentiment and messaging.”