F1: Alonso supporters show racist side

February 4, 2008


At a Formula 1 test last week on the Circuito de Catalunya, near Barcelona, Spanish motorsport fans showed their openly racist attitudes towards coloured F1 newcomer Lewis Hamilton, by shouting racist abuse. Some of the white spectators kitted themselves out to look like a caricature of black people, with their faces painted black and afro wigs. 

I’m shocked and disgusted, though not completly suprised, as I already strongly felt that there was a racist element in the way Lewis Hamilton was critisised and talked about dring the 2007 F1 World Championship.

Anyone remember the racist slur on Hamilton by the head of Spain’s national motorsort association, Mr. Garcia? He said that he found it ironic that a racist country like the UK now had to rely on a black driver, after such a long draught of title succes for British drivers. He tried to swallow his words when this was picked up in the press, but I’ll look up the exact quote later, and I will definetly return to this subject more in-depth soon.

At the time, the FIA announced that there would be an investigation into this matter, but nothing has been heard about it since. A fitting time perhaps, to make good on that promise, Mr. Max Mosley?


2 Responses to “F1: Alonso supporters show racist side”

  1. Chris Ellis Says:

    As I live on the small Island of Menorca, and was fortunate to have the opportunity to go and watch Lewis Hamilton testing at the Royal Mahon Aeroclub. I can say that there was no racist abuse to be seen. There was a srrong showing of locals in the crowd, along with many English residents.

    Although having read the above article, and having lived here for over 17 years. I can promise you that racism is strong here in Spain. We have seen a large influx of colored imigrants over the last five years, and I have seen racism rise dramatically.

    To me it seams that the Spanish people in general don´t like to loose. Whether it be in sport, work, or financial loss. I too am disgusted by the small mindedness of the fans at Catalunya. I feel it is Alonso who needs o keep his mouth shut and drive. This is sport not life, and the Spanish fans that showed racism towards Lewis should grow up, or be locked up.

    Before they cost the rest of the Fans our Gran Prix.

    Chris Ellis

  2. alltalkandnotrousers Says:

    Chris, interesting to hear your view from Menorca. You mention the small mindedness of the fans who taunted Lewis, and I think that word is inseperable from what happened. Small mindedness and racism seem to go hand in hand. I have yet to learn of the discovery of a broad minded racist. It is not always obvious where small mindedness turns into racism though. I think it’s reasonable to assume that where you find small mindedness, racism isn’t far off. It usually takes some bait to lure the closet racist out of its disguise. Talent and hard earned success seems to do just fine as bait.

    I appreciate that Spain has had to cope with a rapid influx of immigrants, many from africa, over the last five to ten years or so, and does not have much experience as a multi ethnic scociety. I do wonder if comming to terms with that new experience can explain the primitive behavior displayed here. More about this subject to follow soon…I feel we have not seen the back of this issue in Formula 1 just yet. The Spanish Grand Prix has yet to be run, and you have to wonder how the Spanish fans would respond to Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso ending up in the gravel trap together, at the end of the straight on the Catalunya circuit. The McLaren pit crew might be well advised to bring riot gear, instead of their racy overalls.

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