Report: Hamilton taunted in Spain

Feb. 3, 2008 at 9:36 PM

LONDON, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of England was the object of racial abuse in Spain this weekend, a report said Sunday.

The BBC in London said Sunday several Spanish newspapers reported that the 23-year-old Hamilton, the first black driver on the F1 circuit, was booed and allegedly taunted by Circuit de Catalunya fans Saturday while he and his McLaren teammates were in Barcelona for pre-season testing on the race cars.

"We are surprised and disappointed at the abuse," a spokesman for the International Automobile Federation said. "This is a clear breach of FIA principles and any repetition will result in serious sanctions."

The taunts are believed to be connected to fan anger about the strained relationship last season between Hamilton and former teammate and Spaniard Fernando Alonso, who since has joined Renault.

Two F1 grand prix races are scheduled to be run in Spain in the 2008 season -- in April at Circuit de Catalunya and Valencia in August.

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