Former F1 Driver Johnny Herbert Receives Death Threats Following Fernando Alonso Decision

The threats followed a decision that resulted in a penalty for Fernando Alonso, which seemed to incite significant online backlash.

Johnny Herbert, a former Formula 1 driver and sports pundit, has recently spoken out about receiving a barrage of death threats through social media after his involvement as a steward during the Australian Grand Prix.

The threats followed a decision that resulted in a penalty for Fernando Alonso, which seemed to incite significant online backlash.

During the event in Melbourne, Alonso was penalized with an additional 20 seconds post-race for his involvement in an accident with George Russell.

As a member of the stewarding panel, Herbert found himself the target of intense criticism and threats from fans who were unhappy with the ruling.

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Herbert described the aftermath of the decision as particularly harsh, stating, “I was a steward at the Melbourne GP and the repercussions were awful.

“I got a torrent of death threats via social media, I am lucky I have got broad shoulders.

“I find it pathetic that I was the one thrown under the bus.”

He recounted how the abuse wasn’t just confined to this incident but traced back to previous public exchanges with Alonso, notably when Alonso confronted Herbert on live television.

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The exchange dated back to a comment Herbert made while working for Sky, suggesting Alonso should leave McLaren if he was dissatisfied with the team’s performance.

Alonso’s retort on air and his status as a world champion seemed to fuel further antagonism from his supporters towards Herbert after the penalty decision.

“There were messages with dagger emojis at the bottom of the screen; people saying we know where you live, we will come for you.

“Most of them were Spanish,” Herbert disclosed, reflecting on the intense and sometimes frightening messages he received.

Despite the ordeal, Herbert remains undeterred from continuing his role as a steward, considering it part of the job’s challenges.

He expressed a broader concern about the prevalence of such harassment directed at sports officials and athletes, criticizing social media platforms for their lack of effective action against online abuse.

“It has not put me off stewarding,” he affirmed, “It’s all part and parcel of it unfortunately.”

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Herbert’s experiences underline a significant issue within digital fan interactions and the personal safety of those in the public eye.

He concluded with a call for more robust measures against online harassment, emphasizing the need for social media companies to take responsibility and act to prevent such abuses.

The ongoing threats highlight a disturbing trend that affects not only celebrities but also individuals across various sectors who face similar challenges.