11 May 2009

F1 investigating possible racial abuse

8:01 am on 11 May 2009

Formula One's governing body says it is investigating reports of a blacked-up spectator at the Spanish Grand Prix circuit where world champion Lewis Hamilton suffered racial abuse last season.

The BBC website published a picture of one blacked-up spectator, among a total Sunday attendance of 92,430 people, wearing a McLaren shirt.

There has been no suggestion that Hamilton had experienced any abuse.

The FIA warned the Spanish authorities last year that they could face sanctions if there was any repeat of the incidents experienced by Hamilton, Formula One's first black champion, at a test in February 2008.

The Circuit de Catalunya last week honoured the 24-year-old McLaren driver Hamilton with a plaque to join others in its Champions' Avenue.

Spanish football has been plagued by spectators making racial taunts.