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Alonso dismisses need for anti-racism campaign in F1

NEWS STORY
21/02/2008

Speaking out for the first time following the incidents at Barcelona earlier this month, Fernando Alonso has dismissed the need for an anti-racism campaign in F1, supporting Bernie Ecclestone's view that the sport needs to move on.

The test at Barcelona at the beginning of Barcelona witnessed a number of incidents aimed at McLaren and its driver Lewis Hamilton. Insulting banners led to missiles being thrown at the Woking team's cars finally culminating in the incident which put F1 back in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, when a group of (seven) 'fans' donned 'Hamilton Familly' (sic) T-Shirts and blacked up their faces.

In the wake of the media out-cry, much of it from the UK, the FIA subsequently came up with the idea of a campaign, provisionally called 'Racing Against Racism'.

Last weekend, Bernie Ecclestone said the incident was isolated, and urged the sport to move on, dismissing the need for the FIA's campaign.

Now, speaking to Spain's AS newspaper, two-time champion Fernando Alonso has echoed the F1 supremo's sentiments.

"I don't think this is a racist country," he said, "and the fans aren't racist either. Whoever says that there is racism in Spain is talking about isolated cases.

"The less we talk about what happened 15 days ago the better," he added, "because that's a completely isolated case from someone who was celebrating carnival. I haven't seen any video or recording of the alleged insults."

Asked specifically about the FIA's anti-racism campaign, the Spaniard said, it was needed, adding that it was an "isolated incident" and that claiming Spanish fans are racist is "laughable".

The FIA is scheduled to launch its campaign at the Spanish GP.

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