“I think it's all nonsense. In Spain people were supporting Alonso and in Sao Paolo they were supporting Felipe. I don't think it was anything to do with racism. There were a few people in Spain and that was probably beginning as a joke rather than anything abusive,” said the F1 supreme during a show at BBC’s Radio 5.
Hamilton first faced racism attacks during a Barcelona testing session in February, as some Spanish fans mocked the McLaren driver by wearing black tie-shirts and painting their faces in dark colors. These actions came as a consequence of his conflictual relationship with teammate Fernando Alonso (the Spaniard has just moved to Renault at the time), who failed to retain his F1 crown in 2008.
This season, before Hamilton headed to Brazil for the final race of the season, it was still a Spanish website that instigated F1 fans from all over the world to pick a place on the Interlagos track where Hamilton’s car would suffer a tire blow-up. The site was called pinchalaruedadehamilton.com (burst Hamilton’s tire). However, Ecclestone insisted that things were blown way out of proportions with these so-called racist actions.
“I think people look and read into things that are not there. All those things are all a bit of a joke and people are entitled to support who they want to support. I don't see why people should have been insulted by it. These things are people expressing themselves,” insisted Bernie.
Both FIA and McLaren Mercedes have reacted to the latest anti-Hamilton actions (most of them appeared on the internet), condemning it as racist and insisting it should not become a part of the sport in the future.