Racist abuse aimed at Hamilton on website
Friday 31 October 2008
Lewis Hamilton has again been targeted by Spanish racists in the build-up to this weekend's title-deciding Brazilian Grand Prix. World governing body the FIA and Hamilton's McLaren team have been quick to condemn a mindless "voodoo-style" website aimed at wrecking Hamilton's championship dreams.
The 23-year-old goes into Sunday's showdown needing only to finish in the top five at Interlagos to become the youngest champion in Formula One history. But ahead of the event, racism has reared its ugly head as hundreds of abusive messages have been posted on the Spanish website.
Visitors to the site are encouraged to drop imaginary nails, pins or porcupines on a mock-up of the Interlagos circuit. A notice on the site reads: "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." A minority of Spanish people have never forgiven Hamilton after his contentious run-in with their hero Fernando Alonso last season.
However, it is the many putrid comments which also feature on the website which have forced the FIA into issuing a strongly-worded statement of denunciation.
Earlier this year the FIA launched their EveryRace campaign after Hamilton was the target of racist abuse at a test session in Barcelona. A spokesman said yesterday: "The FIA's position is very clear – discrimination and prejudice can have no place in sport or in society. Everyone in our sport will join us in condemning these abusive and hateful comments."
An official in Hamilton's team said: "McLaren was one of the earliest supporters of the FIA's EveryRace campaign, and we support that campaign still. We've seen today's statement from the FIA and we can only echo it."
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