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Max Verstappen defends partner Kelly Piquet following online attacks

Max Verstappen and his partner Kelly Piquet have taken to Instagram to urge an end to the "lies" and "hate" spread by social media trolls.

Since 2021, Piquet - the daughter of former F1 world champion Nelson Piquet - has been in a relationship with Verstappen and frequently supports him during Grand Prix weekends.

The Brazilian model previously dated F1 driver Daniil Kvyat and has a four-year-old daughter with him. 

Piquet has recently been subjected to cyberbullying in the form of false accusations and even manipulated screenshots by online trolls.

She sent out an appeal on Instagram for the attacks to stop, which prompted three-time world champion Verstappen to respond.

"A note from me and a gentle reminder to all..." Piquet wrote. "The online world can be a wonderful place for various reasons, but a very scary one when wrong information and lies are thrown around.

"I am unsure of the appropriate approach to address hate stemming from falsehoods. I have considered composing a response and letting it stand.

"For over 3 year I‘ve been navigating a very strange and upsetting wave of accusations, rumours, fabricated situations, fake testimonials, photoshopped screenshots… you name it. All the while staying silent and not playing into these ridiculous claims.

"Accusations made in the past months especially have taken on another level of defamation. Those who know me know that I would never put myself in such positions, say certain things or act in such a way.

"I am far from perfect, but I do take pride in my values, morals and manner. Let that be clear.

"As a human being, the comments and hate affect me and the people around me deeply. I hope this serves as a reminder for people to verify online content before making threats.

"I hope those of you who have contributed to this take a moment to reflect on the real-life consequences of spreading lies and engaging in hate.

"Remember, as James Clear says, 'Every action we take is a vote for who we want to be‘. Let‘s choose to be better humans to ourselves and others."

Verstappen replied to her post: "This has to stop. These false accusations by certain individuals on Instagram and TikTok are insane and ridiculous at the same time.

"Hate has no place in this world. We know what‘s true within our family and we are very happy together.

"I love you."

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