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Hamilton targeted by racists in Brazil

india Updated: Oct 31, 2008 23:12 IST

Agencies
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Formula One title favorite Lewis Hamilton has been the target of racist messages at a Web site aimed at promoting his failure in the decisive Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Web site www.pinchalaruedadehamilton.com (or Burst Hamilton’s Tires) asks visitors to place images of pins, nails and porcupines on the Interlagos track to try to keep F1’s first black driver from finishing Sunday’s decisive race.

Visitors are invited to “leave a message to Hamilton,” and many of them are full of racism and obscenities.

The Web site says, in Spanish, that “Hamilton cannot finish the race” and that “We want Hamilton to lose.”

Formula One’s governing body condemned the Web site, according to Brazilian media, saying that it is against any act of “discrimination and prejudice.”

FIA this year launched an anti-racism campaign after Spanish fans taunted Hamilton during testing in Spain. Hamilton last year was at odds with Spain’s two-time world champion Fernando Alonso when the pair raced for McLaren.

Hamilton enters the final race of the year with a chance to win his first title and become F1’s youngest champion at age 23. He has a seven-point advantage over Ferrari’s Brazilian driver Felipe Massa, and can win the championship by finishing fifth or better on Sunday.

‘The car has let down the drivers’

Vijay Mallya has not lost his trust in the race-crafts of either Giancarlo Fisichella or Adrian Sutil and Force India’s flamboyant owner believes it was actually the VJM01 car which let down the drivers this season.

Mallya, who confirmed in China that the outfit would retain both the drivers for the next season, said it was a combination of factors that didn’t allow Force India break the duck so far this season.

“I was asked whether I was making any changes to the drivers, and I said no. Once we get the car sorted out, I think these guys will perform, because I think they have the talent to perform,” Mallya said, ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

“I think that it’s been a combination of many things this year. There have been occasions on which my drivers have made mistakes, but more often than not, the car has let them down,” he said.