Adrian Sutil has hinted that Lewis Hamilton's seemingly perpetual run-in with F1's governing body could be a case of racism.

Adrian Sutil has hinted that Lewis Hamilton's seemingly perpetual run-in with F1's governing body could be a case of racism.

As the latest scandal - dubbed 'lie-gate' by the media - occupies the formula one world, the reigning world champion's closest friend on the grid expressed concern about constant controversies involving Hamilton.

German Sutil, 26, who was the Briton's F3 teammate in 2005, believes Hamilton is "sick" of falling on the wrong side of the FIA's attentions.

"I have no idea how he has got so many punishments," he is quoted as telling his column in the Dutch Formule 1 Race Report.

"Slowly you start to ask yourself why it always happens to him. Is it his skin colour?" Sutil wondered.