MP calls for action over racist Hamilton website
The Foreign Secretary was urged today to make a formal protest to the Spanish government over the racist abuse of Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton.
World governing body the FIA and Hamilton's McLaren team have been quick to condemn a "voodoo-style" website in Spain where hundreds of abusive messages have been posted.
Visitors to the site, which was not working this lunchtime, have been encouraged to drop imaginary nails, pins or porcupines on a mock-up of the Interlagos circuit.
The 23-year-old will take to the Sao Paulo circuit on Sunday for the Brazilian Grand Prix, needing only to finish in the top five to become the youngest champion in Formula One history.
Labour MP Keith Vaz, chairman of the party's Ethnic Minority Taskforce, today condemned the abuse from F1 fans and said more action needed to be taken.
He urged Foreign Secretary David Miliband to formally protest to Spain asking them to take whatever steps necessary to stop the abuse.
Mr Vaz said it was clear that the website - named Pincha la Rueda de Hamilton, which translates as Burst Hamilton's Tyre - was set up to destabilise Hamilton before this weekend's race.
He said: "The Spanish government cannot stand back and allow this organised and systematic racism to continue. These people must be widely condemned and the websites that they use shut down immediately.
"I call upon the Foreign Secretary to make a formal protest to the Spanish government urging them to act on this serious issue that looks set only to escalate if action is not taken now."
The FIA yesterday condemned the "abusive and hateful" comments left on the website, many of which refer to Hamilton's colour.
A notice on the website read: "Hamilton can't finish the race. We have to stop him however we can.
"All you have to do is choose a spike, place it where you want on the circuit and hope he suffers a historic puncture."
On leaving the website, an automated message informs visitors: "We hope Hamilton punctures thanks to your help."
Earlier this year the FIA launched their EveryRace campaign after Hamilton was the target of racist abuse at a test session in Barcelona.
Arsenal vs Manchester City: With Arsene Wenger missing a number of key players, who could start the Community Shield clash?
Malaysian cyclist could face disciplinary action after 'Save Gaza' gloves protest
Manchester United: Five things we've learned so far about Louis van Gaal, including his ability to accommodate Juan Mata, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney
Liverpool transfer news: Reds 'in talks' to sign Benfica winger Nicolas Gaitan as summer spending threatens to exceed £100m
Manchester United transfer news: Angel Di Maria set to choose between Old Trafford and PSG in next few days
- 1 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 2 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 3 Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss