Dublin, Thursday: Former F1 driver Eddie Irvine has been criticised by fans of Lewis Hamilton after he made supposedly racist remarks about the 2008 world champion last week.

Controversial: Former F1 driver Irvine

Speaking about Hamilton’s new teammate for 2010, reigning champion Jenson Button, Irvine claimed that the McLaren newcomer would not stand a chance in the intra-team battle next season, stating: “I think he [Button]’s going to get murdered.”

Fans of the British star, F1’s first ever black world champion, have taken the Ulsterman to task for his choice of words, however. “This is blatantly an attempt to perpetuate the myth that all black people are criminals and murderers,” S. Shoes, Hamilton fan club spokesperson, said.

“As we know, all criticism of Hamilton is based on racism rather than any legitimate concerns over his ability, driving standards or personality,” Ms. Shoes continued. “However, Irvine’s comments reach a new level in that they are so transparently racist, this complaint doesn’t even count as straw-clutching.

“Everyone knows that Lewis would never murder or even slightly bruise any fellow competitor. Everyone, that is, apart from this particularly stupid Irishman.”

Hamilton himself was unmoved by the comments, thanking the team for allowing him to express no opinion whatsoever on Irvine’s diatribe.