F1 2022: Lewis Hamilton defends Sky Sports TV presenter Naomi Schiff after attack from social media troll

Lewis Hamilton has leapt to the defence of a star Formula One TV presenter after she was targeted by a troll on social media.Lewis Hamilton has defended Formula One TV host Naomi Schiff after the Sky Sports presenter was targeted by a troll on social media. Schiff, a Rwandan-Belgian racing driver who grew up in South Africa before moving to the UK, has joined the Sky Sports F1 commentary team this year. Watch Every Practice, Qualifying & Race of the 2022 FIA Formula One World Championship™ Live on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >The 28-year-old began competing in single-seater car racing events at the age of 16 and in 2019 she competed in the W Series — an all-female racing championship. She was appointed the series’ diversity and inclusion ambassador in 2020.Schiff has become a regular fixture on Sky Sports’ F1 coverage and co-hosts the YouTube show Any Given Monday. She has interviewed several F1 drivers this season including Daniel Ricciardo following the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, where he admitted his frustration at McLaren’s team orders during the race.But fans were reminded of how far attitudes in sport still have to go when a troll posted a photo of Schiff in her racing suit and questioned her credentials, specifically the fact she hasn’t raced in F1. Schiff reshared the now-deleted post, alongside three yawning emojis. Hamilton slammed the post and threw his support behind Schiff. “Naomi is an ex-professional racing driver & totally qualified to give her opinion as part of the Sky team,” the seven-time world champion tweeted.“She’s been a great asset since joining & we should welcome more representative broadcasting with open arms. Still have a long way to go to change these attitudes in sport.”Schiff has also been inundated with messages of support from the F1 community, with many saying she has been a welcome addition to Sky’s TV coverage. F1 and Formula E journalist Hazel Southwell tweeted: “You’re brilliant, an excellent addition to the team and your trackside pieces are an absolutely perfect example of how to do motorsport coverage that helps the viewer analyse what they’re seeing – so important with the new regs.”Journalist Chris Medland said: “Rarely get to see any of Sky’s coverage of F1 (due to working at the same time) but from what I have seen of it there’s no doubt that Naomi Schiff has been a brilliant addition. Big fan of her style #F1.”Schiff has since expressed her broader thanks to those who have rallied around her. “Thank you to everyone who has come to my defence,” she wrote on Twitter.“I appreciate all the love and support, none of you go unnoticed!“Sadly the issue of online bullying, bashing, shaming etc. is one I don’t believe is going anywhere anytime soon.“Social media, in some cases, gives voices to individuals who don’t deserve to be heard.“So I encourage anyone reading this to not indulge in it or retaliate or seek revenge. “Remember that your words do have impact and that therefore we should do something positive with these platforms and be kind to one another.“Lastly, I love my job and I won’t let anyone turn down my ambition or passion because they are uncomfortable with the volume.”The F1 season continues at the Canadian Grand Prix next Monday morning (AEST).Originally published as ‘Long way to go’: Lewis Hamilton defends F1 TV presenter after attack from social media troll