30 May 2011

Hamilton claims racism in Formula One

5:59 am on 30 May 2011

Lewis Hamilton suggested he was being victimised by the Formula One race stewards because he's "black" after defending champion German Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull won the Monaco Grand Prix.

The 26-year-old Englishman, world champion in 2008, says he felt victimised by events at recent races where he had been called up to be punished because of his aggressive and entertaining driving style.

Hamilton - who finished sixth in an incident-packed race leaving him 58 points adrift of Vettel - says he had been called before the stewards five times in the last six races.

Asked why this was happening to him, the McLaren driver answered "maybe it's because I am black."

Hamilton complained that he had done his best to provide entertainment by going for his overtaking opportunities.

He says Brazilian Felipe Massa had upset him in qualifying and then turned into him with his Ferrari during the race and added similar comments about the way in which Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado of Williams had turned into him when being passed in the final laps.