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FIA Respond To Behaviour Of Fans At Catalunya

FIA Respond To Behaviour Of Fans At Catalunya

FIA - 2008 ValenciaFollowing the disgraceful behaviour of ‘fans’ at the Spanish Circuit de Catalunya this weekend, the FIA have responded by saying that any further repeats would not be tolerated, suggesting that if the circuit doesn’t respond appropriately and effectively, the track will be on the receiving end of repercussions, possibly losing their race. As I stated on F1Fanatic earlier today, racism should absolutely not be tolerated in Formula One and the incidents of this weekend are a stark reminder of the sport’s popularity and widening appeal.

The officials at Catalunya tried their best to confine and control the abuse, closing off part of the grandstand opposite McLaren’s garage, the team facing the brunt of the verbal and visual abuse. The security guards at the circuit also removed banners and erected a fence around the McLaren pit area. However, it seems as though this didn’t deter some visitors, some photographed with darkly-painted faces and t-shirts saying “Hamilton’s Familly” [sic] on the front and “Alonso #1” on the back. These people are reported to have hurled abuse at Lewis Hamilton who spent much of the weekend being escorted around with a group of McLaren and circuit staffers.

Dealing with racism and abuse is tricky, as I’m sure it was just a small group of ‘fans’ who decided to do this. But as the old saying goes, it spoils it for everyone else, damages the sport and of course, those who are on the receiving end of abuse don’t deserve it.

The FIA is surprised and disappointed at the abuse directed at Lewis Hamilton. Abuse of this kind is a clear breach of the principles enshrined in the FIA statutes and any repetition will result in serious sanctions. FIA Spokesperson.

The “serious sanctions” haven’t been defined, but as mentioned earlier, they could be the stripping of the race away from the track. Spain has two races this season, hosting the home event at Catalunya and the European Grand Prix around the streets of Valencia. Let’s hope both tracks remain on the calendar and this behaviour isn’t repeated.

Oliver White

2 comments

  • I am pleased to see the FIA speaking out on this. Action has to be taken immediately and needs to be followed up if there is the slightest hint of a repeat.

    Alonso has to speak out to dissociate himself from this kind of behaviour and the Spanish media and NSA need to take some of the temperature out of the situation.

    The Spanish NSA in combination with the FIA contributed to the idea that McLaren were somehow disadvantaging Alonso last season with all the nonsense about equality stewards. This fuelled the belief in certain quarters that there was a conspiracy against their man and fuelled the resentment that results in this sort of thing.

  • Hi Oliver,

    This sort of racist behaviour is very worrying indeed and is the sort of thing that has to be stamped on with immediate effect.

    It was only a small minority of ‘fans’ involved but they can’t be seen as roll models and should be banned from all F1 events.There attitude stinks and their sense of humor is backward and childish.

    I have work doing security at the British GP every year since 2002.If i sore anybody ‘blacked up’ like that with racist intentions : i would kick their backsides out of the circuit personally.

    Keep up the good work mate.

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