Lewis Hamilton clarifies support for British GP protestors after Silverstone track invasion

Lewis Hamilton initially said “big up the protestors” after the track invasion on Sunday but later rowed back on social media; Northamptonshire Police said seven people were arrested after the invasion on the opening lap of the British GP

Last Updated: 04/07/22 11:16 am


Lewis Hamilton has clarified his support for protesters after their track invasion at the British GP, saying he will “always support” people standing up for what they believe in, but stressing that “it must be done safely”.

Northamptonshire Police said seven people were arrested after the invasion on the opening lap at Silverstone. Five protestors stormed the Wellington Straight – the fastest point of the track – before sitting down.

The race had already been suspended following Zhou Guanyu’s high-speed crash, but a number of cars sped by as the quintet – understood to be representing the views of the group Just Stop Oil – launched their protest.

Speaking immediately after the race, Hamilton said he was unaware of the protest but added: “Big up those guys. Big up the protestors.

“I love that people are fighting for the planet and we need more people like them.”

But Hamilton later clarified those comments on social media.

“While I’ll always support those standing up for what they believe in, it must be done safely,” he stated.

“Please don’t jump onto our race circuits to protest, we don’t want to put you in harm’s way.”

Craig Slater confirms the details that the protestors stormed the circuit at Silverstone during the British Grand Prix.

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Craig Slater confirms the details that the protestors stormed the circuit at Silverstone during the British Grand Prix.

Craig Slater confirms the details that the protestors stormed the circuit at Silverstone during the British Grand Prix.

Hamilton’s team Mercedes issued their own statement: “Lewis was endorsing their right to protest but not the method that they chose, which compromised their safety and that of others.”

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz, who won the race, said: “As soon as I came out of Turn Five I saw three guys running towards me.

“People have the opportunity to speak out because it is their right, but I don’t believe jumping onto a Formula 1 track is the best way to do it, and putting yourself at risk, and the other drivers.

“You have to be more careful because you could get killed and generate an accident.”

Craig Slater explains how Zhou Guanyu's car was flipped upside down and over the barriers during the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

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Craig Slater explains how Zhou Guanyu’s car was flipped upside down and over the barriers during the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Craig Slater explains how Zhou Guanyu’s car was flipped upside down and over the barriers during the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

‘Totally stupid’ | F1 boss slams track invasion

F1 bosses had been alerted to the potential of a protest earlier this week, and the sport’s CEO Stefano Domenicali slammed the invasion.

“Totally irresponsible,” he told Sky Sports F1. “People can protest something by voice, but running the risk on a track, jeopardising and having the really serious stuff for the drivers and themselves is totally stupid.

“This is not acceptable, you can protest whatever you want, there is freedom to speak, but this is really ridiculous.”

Formula One CEO Stefano Domenicali exprfesses his relief that neither Zhou Guanyu nor Roy Nissany were seriously injured during Sunday's racing at Silverstone.

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Formula One CEO Stefano Domenicali exprfesses his relief that neither Zhou Guanyu nor Roy Nissany were seriously injured during Sunday’s racing at Silverstone.

Formula One CEO Stefano Domenicali exprfesses his relief that neither Zhou Guanyu nor Roy Nissany were seriously injured during Sunday’s racing at Silverstone.

He added: “Everyone has the right to speak out on issues, but no one has the right to put lives in danger. The actions of a small group of people today were completely irresponsible and dangerous. We thank the police for their great work and We shouldn’t be complaining about the risk this posed to the safety of the drivers, marshals, fans and the individuals themselves. “

Event commander chief inspector Tom Thompson said: “I’m really disappointed that this group of people ignored our warnings prior to race-day and made the incredibly dangerous decision to enter the track.

“We offered to facilitate a peaceful event at the circuit but they instead chose to put the lives of the drivers, marshals and volunteers at risk. It is incredibly disappointing that anyone would make the decision to do this.

“All seven are currently in custody where their details are being ascertained.”

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