"Maybe because I'm Black"

Kompas.com - 30/05/2011, 13:09 WIB
EditorJimmy Hitipeuw

MONTE CARLO, KOMPAS.com - Aggrieved McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton claimed he was being victimised after being called to face the race stewards at the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday - but had to clarify his comments after suggesting the issue was connected to colour.

The 26-year-old Briton, who finished sixth in a chaotic contest riddled with accidents and stoppages, said the way he had been treated this season was a joke - but he was at pains to clarify his remarks after bringing up the race issue.

Defending drivers' champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull won Sunday's classic 78-lap race round the Mediterranean harbour for the first time to open up a massive lead in the championship.

Hamilton expressed his annoyance after being punished during the race for one alleged misdemeanour and then summoned to appear before the stewards for a second.

"It's an absolute frickin' joke," he told the BBC. "I've been to see the stewards five times in six races this season."

Asked why that was the case, Hamilton said: "Maybe it's because I'm black! That's what (British comic character) Ali G says."

During the early part of the race, Hamilton was given a 'drive-through' penalty for a brush with Brazilian Felipe Massa of Ferrari. He was then called in again by the stewards after a late clash with Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado of Williams, as he passed him in the closing stages for which he received a 20sec penalty which did not affect his final placing.

Hamilton said he felt he had done nothing wrong in both cases.

"Massa held me up in qualifying," he said. "I got the penalty. He turned in to me (during the race). I got the penalty. These drivers are ridiculous. It's stupid."

Hamilton later struck a more mellow tone.

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