The director of the Barcelona circuit where Lewis Hamilton was racially abused has promised to take steps to prevent similar scenes marring April's Spanish Grand Prix.
Hamilton was jeered and insulted by spectators when he moved between the McLaren trailer and the team's garage during testing at the Circuit de Catalunya, in Montmelo, near Barcelona, on Saturday.
The 23-year-old was left ‘somewhat sad’ by events, with one group wearing wigs, black make-up and t-shirts with the slogan 'Hamilton's Family' - apparently because of his public falling out with then McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso last season.
Circuit de Catalunya director Ramon Pradera claimed coverage of the incident had been ‘taken out of context’ but ensured steps would be taken to ensure no repeat of the scenes on 27 April.
‘I was present at all times and we cannot generalise the actions of four of five individuals in comparison with the 50,000 spectators that were here at the weekend,’ Pradera said.
‘At the time that these situations took place, we reacted immediately by cordoning the area, throwing out those individuals and taking away the banners.
‘On Sunday, we didn't see these episodes occur.’
Motorsport's governing body, the FIA, warned Spain could even be stripped of its races as a result of such incidents. The country is due to host two grands prix this year, at Barcelona and Valencia.
A spokesman said: ‘FIA are surprised and disappointed at the abuse directed at Lewis Hamilton.
‘An act of this kind is a clear breach of the principles enshrined in the FIA statutes, and any repetition will result in sanctions.’
Pradera added: ‘We have already spoken to the FIA assuring them that we will eliminate all racist elements. I spoke to McLaren yesterday and they were satisfied with the measures we took.
‘With regards to the official race, we are taking measures with the police because we are aware that we are representing a country. Although we cannot assure that every fan will behave in the appropriate manner, we will do our best to act.
‘I would like to send a message saying that England and Spain share a passion for Formula One, that these great two drivers (Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso) should be allowed to work in peace.
‘It's a very stressful sport and the competitiveness should only be seen on the track.’