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Formula 1 News - February, 2008
No racism as Hamilton makes test return

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2006 World Cup

Feb.12 (GMM) After the racial controversy of Barcelona, Lewis Hamilton's return to Spanish test action at Jerez on Tuesday went off without a hitch.

Only a small crowd has gathered at the former grand prix venue in the country's south, where every team except Ferrari and Toyota this week continue their pre-season test campaigns.

A repeat of the racist abuse suffered by F1's only black driver could cost the country its two F1 races, to be held this year at Montmelo and on the streets of Valencia.

Australian driver Mark Webber told the BBC that it would be wrong for Spain to be punished because of the actions of a few bigots.

"There were a few guys who were absolutely out of order, and that's what the whole thing has been hung on," said Webber, who was at the Circuit de Catalunya testing for Red Bull when the incidents occurred last weekend.

"You had a lot of fans who were there with their young kids on a Sunday, so why should you stuff it all for them because of a few guys?" he added.

Webber said he believes that some of the worst behaviour regarding the racism controversy was conducted by the media.

"The over-reaction of the media ... take it back a bit," he urged. "It's totally controllable and we can get on top of it."

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