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Alonso downplays racial taunts against Hamilton

india Updated: Feb 27, 2008 22:32 IST

AFP
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Spain's two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso om Wednesday sought to downplay the racial insults directed at British driver Lewis Hamilton at a recent testing session.

"Perhaps it has been exaggerated. I remember having won in Monza (Italy) and the people gave me the finger. That's sport," he told radio Cadena Ser, the station said on its website.

But the sports newspaper AS, which carried a lengthier transcript of the same interview, reported Alonso also said any such insults against Hamilton "must be categorically condemned".

During tests at the Montmelo circuit near Barcelona on February 3, Hamilton was subjected to insults from a group of spectators wearing black wigs with black make-up and T-shirts bearing the legend "Hamilton's Family" on the front and "Alonso No 1" on the back.

The Spanish fans' behaviour was seen as a reaction to perceived favouritism by the McLaren team for Britain's Hamilton last season at the expense of Spaniard Alonso, who has since rejoined Renault.

Motorsport's governing body FIA has warned that Spain may lose its Formula One Grands Prix this year over the incidents.

Alonso also told Cadena Ser he thinks he has only a 30 percent chance of winning the title again this season.