Haas F1 Team‘s Romain Grosjean had said he has learnt to accept online criticism, although admits he initially found it “painful”.
The 34-year-old has been subject to criticism from fans on social media following instances where he had shown a lack of form.
Nevertheless, with eight podium finishes to his name, the Frenchman believes that his racing record speaks for itself, and instead now chooses to embrace the feedback he receives.
“If they say you’re a rubbish driver? Well great… maybe I’m a rubbish driver, but I’ve done 169 Grands Prix,” he said, speaking at an F1 live session on Instagram.
“If I was that bad, imagine how stupid the Team Principal would be to keep me in the car?”
He went on to say that there have occasions where he has been paying attention to what has been said on social media, some comments hurting him.
“I’ve been through different phases. Sometimes I was watching [social media comments] and it was just painful.
“So I stopped watching, and, you know what? I got to a point and I was like: ‘I know exactly what I’m doing, I know what I’ve been achieving in Formula 1, I know what I’ve been achieving in my life’ – and if those guys decide that they will be harsh on me, I can reply in a funny way.”
He recognises that receiving criticism is part of being a well-known racing driver, and considers that people have differing views on him is a good thing.
“Sometimes their [comments are] not as good as you would like them to be, or as polite or respectful, but I think it’s also part of social media.
He added: “I like when people [comment], if it’s in a good way and they face you and they say this is not good, [that] is not good’, and you can explain and talk.
“I’m kind of happy that either people like me or people don’t like me. If you have the charisma of an oyster, people don’t care.”