FIA warns Spain after reported racist slurs against Hamilton
Spanish Formula One race organisers face sanctions from the motor sport body FIA if British driver Lewis Hamilton is the target there again of racist abuse from fans.4 February 2008
PARIS - Spanish Formula One race organisers face sanctions from the motor sport body FIA if British driver Lewis Hamilton is the target there again of racist abuse from fans.
A spokesman said on Monday that FIA was "surprised and disappointed" by the reported weekend incidents at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona in which fans verbally abused Hamilton.
"This is a clear breach of FIA principles and any repetition will result in serious sanctions," he said.
Two races are scheduled for the 2008 season in Spain, the Spanish Grand Prix on the Barcelona course and the European GP on a new street circuit in Valencia. Teams also come to Spain for tests on another Valencia track and in Jerez de la Frontera.
Spanish news reports on Sunday said that fans from the stands jeered and taunted the McLaren driver Hamilton at Saturday tests in Barcelona.
Hamilton is unpopular in Spain because of his rivalry with Spanish hero and two-time world champion Fernando Alonso. Both men were at McLaren last year. Alonso claimed that team chief Ron Dennis favoured Hamilton and has now returned to the Renault team.
Ramon Pradera, the director of the Circuit de Catalunya track, told fans via the La Vanguardia daily on Sunday that "no kind of offensive behaviour will be tolerated."
[Copyright dpa 2008]
Subject: Spanish news