Friday, November 07, 2008

Lewis Hamilton victim of racist taunts

But F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone dismisses fans' behaviour as a 'joke'

Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone caused outrage after branding racist behaviour aimed at Lewis Hamilton as just a 'joke'.

Spanish spectators with blacked up faces and afro wigs taunted the world champion. Some fans even branded him a ‘half-breed’.

But Bernie, 78, dismissed it as unimportant.

‘That was probably meant in the beginning as a joke rather than anything abusive,’ he says.

'I think people look and read into things that are not there. I think all those things were a bit of a joke.

'In Spain, people were supporting Alonso and in Sao Paulo they were supporting Felipe. I don't think it's anything to do with racism.'

Lewis, 23, says it upset him but he's determined not to let the controversy detract from his victory.

'I didn't see it as a joke,’ he tells the Daily Mail. ‘But it is in the past. What's more important to me is that I had a lot of support, especially from UK fans.
'It makes me very proud.'


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