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F1 racism in Spain causes uproar

Feb. 4, 2008 at 4:24 PM

LONDON, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- The British minister for sport and tourism has called on auto racing officials to act on the Spanish racial abuse of British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton.

Gerry Sutcliffe said he was "shocked" by photos showing the McLaren star being jeered and insulted at the Circuit de Catalunya, in Montmelo, Spain, Britain's Sky News reported Monday.

The pictures showed spectators wearing black make-up and wigs while wearing T-shirts with "Hamilton's Family" written on the front.

"I was shocked by those sickening images," said Sutcliffe. "How on earth were fans dressed like this allowed into the circuit? Racism should not be tolerated and this is not the first time British sportsmen have been racially abused in Spain."

F1's governing body, the FIA, has warned Spain could be stripped of its major motor races.

"This brings in question whether the Grand Prix should be held at this track," added Sutcliffe.

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