Ecclestone dismisses FIA’s racism response

Bernie Ecclestone

(GMM) F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has played down the FIA's response to the Lewis Hamilton racism affair as not "necessary".

After Spanish spectators at the recent Barcelona test abused the sport's only black driver, the governing body reacted by vowing to launch a Motorsport-wide anti-racism campaign – called Racing Against Racism – at this year's Spanish grand prix.

Hamilton's team, McLaren-Mercedes, immediately backed the move, while a spokesman for Toyota confirmed: "(We support) any efforts to combat racism and we fully endorse the stance being adopted by the FIA."

Super Aguri also backed the campaign, while a spokesman for Ferrari said: "Ferrari has solidarity with all initiatives against any type of discrimination."

But speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek program, 77-year-old Ecclestone said of the FIA campaign: "I don't think it's necessary.

"All it does, like all these things, is give attention to the people who want attention."

The diminutive Briton dismissed those who abused Hamilton as football-style hooligans, and predicted that the incident will not be repeated.

"It was a one-off, nothing to worry about," he said.

"We'd have to have a look it if anything like that happened (again), but this is just an isolated incident."

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