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'F1 anti-racism campaign not needed'
February 18, 2008 12:07 IST
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone on Sunday described abuse of Lewis Hamilton in Spain as an "isolated incident" and said the sport does not need an anti-racism campaign.
"I don't think it's necessary," he told BBC radio when asked about a campaign that the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) plans to launch at the Spanish Grand Prix in April.
"What it does, all of these things, it gives attention to the people that want attention," the Briton added.
"I don't think they are fans and I don't think they were supporting [Fernando] Alonso in particular. They just like to abuse people," Ecclestone said of the spectators who taunted McLaren's Hamilton at a test in Barcelona this month.
"This is just an isolated incident," added Ecclestone, noting that Hamilton had since returned to Spain for further tests without incident.
Hamilton, the sport's first black driver, won four races last year and finished overall runner-up in a sensational rookie season.
However the 23-year-old also became a hate figure in Spain for his rivalry at McLaren with double world champion team mate Fernando Alonso [Images], who has since returned to Renault.
Ecclestone said he has not spoken to Hamilton about the Circuit de Catalunya incident but does not expect him to be affected by it when the season starts in Australia on March 16.
"I think he's strong enough to know that it's all nonsense," he said.
The 77-year-old expects Hamilton to have a harder time on the track, however.
"He was under no pressure last year at all and this year he is going to be under a lot of pressure, that's the problem," he said. "I think he'll cope, I don't think anybody is going to faze him. He knows what he can do and what he can't do."
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