Lewis Hamilton has been accused by a leading Spanish bullfighter of not knowing enough about the activity after the Formula One world champion explained his revulsion.
British driver Hamilton is supporting the campaign by PETA - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals - to stop children being taught how to tackle bulls.
He posted a picture in an Instagram story of a dead bull, adding the caption: "This is truly disgusting Spain."
His message added: "Kids in Spain are taught to torture and kill bulls - starting at age 14.
“We’re asking Spain’s Ministry of Education to close bullfighting schools, immediately!"
Vegan Hamilton, whose profile on the social network states he "loves animals", has spoken out on a variety of issues over recent months, powerfully supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
Spanish torero Cayetano Rivera hit back at Hamilton over the bullfighting comments.
Rivera wrote on Twitter: "Mr. @LewisHamilton doesn't like bullfights... So? Anyways, before criticising someone else's culture, you should at least learn more about what you're talking about #respect ! And don't let knaves fool you!"
Rivera comes from a family of famous bullfighters; however, the activity has a diminishing profile in Spain, with animal rights activists claiming it is a barbaric blood sport.
An online survey by the Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo asked whether readers supported the position taken by Hamilton, or by Rivera, with 81.36 per cent of the first 3,365 respondents backing the F1 star.