Mika Salo spent much of his career in the midfield but did have a brief stint at Ferrari in 1999, when he subbed for the injured Michael Schumacher.
As an FIA driver steward for the US GP weekend he played a part in issuing the late penalty to Max Verstappen, dropping him off of the podium. It was a controversial call, and it’s absolutely fine to disagree with it and be annoyed, but apparently some ‘fans’ don’t seem to know when enough is enough.
Following the race Salo’s Wikipedia page was cheekily edited with all sorts of crazy conspiracy theories, such as: “As a steward of the FIA he helped Ferrari by giving Max Verstappen unreasonable penalties,” and “Mika Salo is rumoured to be involved in the largest FIA corruption scandal of 2016/2017.”
Whilst stuff like that is obviously just a bit of a joke, Salo revealed that he’d got something much more serious than a couple of Wikipedia edits: death threats. He told Finland’s SuomiF1:
“I have received death threats, mainly from Holland. The change in the Wikipedia article was a fun joke, but threats to me and other members of the jury should not be tolerated.”
He also thinks it was the right thing to do to penalise Verstappen:
“It was a punishment, but the rules are rules. They clearly state that if the driver gets the benefit of rectification, he will be followed by a penalty. Max was ahead of Kimi Raikkonen behind, but after the curve, thanks to the correction ahead of Ferrari. The situation is clear.”
Sadly death threats in F1 aren’t just restricted to this one incident either. Esteban Ocon revealed that he’s had them too as a result of his clashes with Sergio Perez this year, and has had to increase his personal security this weekend as a result. What is wrong with the world?!