Max Mosley has re-affirmed his threat to cancel this year’s two Grands Prix in Spain if there is any repeat of the racist abuse aimed at Lewis Hamilton at the Circuit de Catalunya last week.
He has also revealed Hamilton was racially abused by Spanish spectators at the Chinese Grand Prix:
Anthony Hamilton told me that there were some people in China who were also appallingly abusive; not Chinese fans, but people who had travelled from Spain.
If Mosley had first heard of the problem back in October then one assumes the Spanish motor racing authority were warned about it. However he also pointed out only a small number of people have been involved so far:
If, as appears to be the case, a very small number of people are involved, it ought to be possible to stop it immediately. If it isn’t, then we have sanctions and we could pull the Grand Prix.
Although it does seem that the racist abuse was coming from a small section of the crowd, the FIA must show they are aware that tolerating it for any length of time will only encourage it to grow.
Furthermore if the FIA were to ignore it, Mosley could end up facing damaging questions relating to his father, who was the leader of the British Union of Fascists in the 1930s.
Judging by Max Mosley’s reaction so far I don’t think he has done anything to deserve it. Last week some members of the British press were calling for harsher penalties and suggesting the races were in no danger of being cancelled, but there seems to be a greater sense of perspective in recent reports.
McLaren and several other teams are testing at the Circuito do Jerez from Tuesday to Thursday this week (12-14th), and returning to the Circuit de Catalunya on the Tuesday to Thursday after (19-21st). (For more test dates see the F1Fanatic Google Calendar).
But it’s not just the organisers of the Spanish racers who need to be careful – racism is not only a problem Spain.
Photo copyright: FIA