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Spanish racists target Lewis Hamilton on website
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Published on 1 Nov. 2008 12:54 AM IST
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Lewis Hamilton has been targeted by racists on a Spanish website hoping to scupper his dreams of becoming Formula 1 champion. Hundreds of sick messages have been left on the site taunting him over the colour of his skin - with some even expressing a wish that he kills himself. The abuse has been posted on a website that encourages visitors to leave 'virtual nails' on a mock-up of the Brazilian racetrack where he hopes to win the drivers' championship this Sunday. The website suggests that if enough people do so they will be able to 'will' Hamilton to get a puncture. The 23-year-old only needs to finish fifth to become youngest-ever Formula 1 world champion. The latest insults follow the racist abuse that greeted the British at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona earlier in the season, One message on the site, from a man calling himself Carrillo, says: 'Half-breed, kill yourself in your car.' Another, from 'Alberto', says: 'I hope you run over your dad in the first pit stop, Hamilton.' The poisonous messages are on a website called 'Pincha la Rueda de Hamilton' - Spanish for 'Burst Hamilton's Tyre'. Visitors to the site are given the option of choosing nails, drawing pins or even porcupines to place on a computer version of the Sao Paulo track. The website says: 'Hamilton can't finish the race, we have to stop him however we can. All you have to do is choose a spike, place it where you want on the circuit and hope he suffers a historic puncture.' More than 16,000 had signed up to the 'black magic' bid to put Hamilton out of the last race of the season. One, calling himself David, left a porcupine out for Lewis on lap seven alongside a message saying: 'F*** you bastard. Monkey.' Another, called Angel, left a nail out for Lewis on lap 11 and raged: 'I hope you crash, son of a bitch.' Yet another, dubbing Hamilton a 'Conguito' - a gollywog-style chocolate sweet popular in Spain - said: 'Conguito, you are going to die.' Another, who called himself Chusqui, left a nail out near the finishing line on lap 12, alongside the insult: 'Nigger.' An automated message that flashes up after visitors leave their messages and nails says in Spanish: 'We hope Hamilton punctures thanks to your help.' A disclaimer at the bottom of the website claims: 'We are not responsible for the content of the messages sent by users.' Should Hamilton suffer tyre trouble, however, it would not be a first. Currently seven points ahead of Felipe Massa, he has already lost vital points this year because of a puncture at the Hungarian Grand Prix. It is also not the first time the driver has been targeted by fans in Spain. Earlier this year at the Spanish Grand Prix, groups of fans shouted 'black s***' and 'black whore' at Hamilton. Other spectators blacked up their faces and wore wigs and T-shirts with the words 'Hamilton's family' printed on them. The hatred of Hamilton stems from when he and Spanish driver Fernando Alonso were teammates at McLaren during the 2007 season. Alonso's compatriots were angry at supposed bias shown by the team towards Hamilton. Alonso moved to Renault this season, but the tension continued when Hamilton ran into the back of him during the Bahrain Grand Prix in April. Last month the Spaniard said he wanted Brazilian Felipe Massa and not Hamilton to win the championship. It is not the first time English sporting stars have been on the receiving end of Spanish racism. The national football team was subjected to racist chants during a friendly against Spain at Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium four years ago. Sections of the Spanish crowd made money chants every time Ashley Cole, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Jermaine Jenas touched the ball. The same year former Spanish coach Luis Aragones was fined more than £2,000 for making racist remarks about Thierry Henry.

 
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