The FIA, motor racing's governing body have condemned a Spanish website which contains abuse aimed at Lewis Hamilton. The website, pinchalaruedadeHamilton, features a graphic on its home page in which nails, tin-tacks and hedgehogs are strewn on the Interlagos circuit, where he will attempt to win the world championship in the Brazilian grand prix on Sunday.
The site claims to have had more than 21,000 visitors, and continues the vendetta begun 18 months ago by supporters of Fernando Alonso, who joined the McLaren team as reigning world champion at the start of the 2007 season but found himself in a battle against Hamilton - formula one's first mixed-race driver.
Alonso's departure at the end of the season enraged his Spanish fans, and when the formula one teams went to Spain for pre-season testing Hamilton was greeted by racist insults and the sight of a group of Spanish fans with blackened faces wearing Afro wigs. The FIA's response was to fine the circuit and to institute an anti-racism campaign.
"The FIA's position is very clear," the governing body said in a statement yesterday, reacting to the content of the website. "Discrimination and prejudice can have no place in sport or society. Everyone in our sport will join us in condemning these abusive and hateful comments."
The domain name is registered to a company called Tequila Spain and a note on the website says the owners are not responsible for the comments it contains.