Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton was met by racist fans at Monday’s Spanish Grand Prix.
Lewis arrived to the sight of race fans made up in blackface taunting him about the color of his skin, Latina.com reports. This follows a similar incident last year at the same spot where a small group of spectators repeatedly harassed him.
The driver’s colleagues, who were furious over the racist display, immediately came to his defense.
“This is utterly and totally unacceptable,” said racing vet Eddie Jordan. “After what happened previously here with Lewis, the fans at this circuit still have a suspended sentence hanging over them.”
Ramon Pedrera, the circuit’s director, tried to settle the crowd as tensions mounted during the incident. “No type or offensive behavior can be tolerated,” he said.
The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, which is the governing body for world motor sports, has threatened to pull the Spanish Grand Prix before. However, a spokesmen for the FIA assured that, “These types of fans are the absolute minority.”
There is speculation that the behavior was sparked by Lewis’ rivalry with fellow driver Fernando Alonso.
– Sonya Eskridge